Question: I filed for personal bankruptcy once before, can I file for bankruptcy again?

Answer: You can file as often as you want but it depends on whether you want or need to get a discharge. That in turn depends upon when you last filed for bankruptcy and whether your prior filing was for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

If you did not receive a discharge you can refile again without worrying about any time constraints.

If you did receive a discharge from a prior bankruptcy then you have to look towards the bankruptcy code about when you can refile. The following provides some guidance on timing:

  • After a discharge from a chapter 7 you can refile for chapter 7 after 8 years;

  • After a discharge from a chapter 7 you can file for chapter 13 after 4 years;

  • After a discharge from a chapter 13 you can file for chapter 7 after 6 years (if ˂70% Plan);

  • After a discharge from a chapter 13 you can refile for chapter 13 after 2 years;

Even if you are not eligible for a discharge you can still file for bankruptcy to buy yourself time to work out something with creditors because a filing invokes the automatic stay provision in the bankruptcy code.


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