Time Limits Between Bankruptcy Filings

Many people are now wondering since I previously filed Chapter 7, can I file bankruptcy again?   Yes of course, there is no lifetime limit on filing.  There are however limits between filings.  Chapter 7 bankruptcies must have eight years between the filing date and the new Chapter 7  filing date.  If you previously filed Chapter 7 and are now thinking of filing Chapter 13,  you should wait four years in order to receive a discharge in Chapter 13.

  • If you file Chapter 13 within four years of filing Chapter 7, you cannot discharge your debts after you complete the three- to five-year Chapter 13 plan. You can still file Chapter 13 to keep creditors from suing you, garnishing your paychecks, or levying your bank account.  You may want to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy when you have passed the eight-year mark.
  • If you file Chapter 13 four years after filing Chapter 7, you can have a very low monthly Chapter 13 payment plan and receive a full discharge of all remaining balances after you complete the three- to five-year plan.

There are some circumstances where you may want to file a Chapter 13 right after receiving your discharge in Chapter 7,  even though you will not be eligible for a discharge in Chapter 13.   These are called Chapter 20 cases. This would be done to save your home for example, since there is not a way to do this under Chapter 7 if you are behind on payments.

In some cases you can file a new Chapter 13 before your previous Chapter 13 is discharged. It also is possible to convert your case to Chapter 7 if your financial situation has drastically changed.   Give us a  call to discuss your particular case at (727) 410-2705.


Carol A. Lawson, Esq., 28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761

Phone: (727) 410-2705;   email: calh@gate.net

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