Filing bankruptcy more than once is not anyone’s goal, but if you meet certain requirements you can successfully file a second bankruptcy. This article outlines some requirements for multiple bankruptcy filings.

Timing Limits

Know that when time limits are discussed in this article, unless otherwise specified, they are referring to the discharge date of the prior bankruptcy.

Multiple Bankruptcy Filings If A Discharge Was Received

Same Chapter Filings

Chapter 7—If you previously received a discharge in a Chapter 7 and are interested in filing another Chapter 7, you must wait eight years from the filing date of the first bankruptcy, before filing a second time.

Chapter 13—If you previously received a discharge in Chapter 13, you cannot receive a discharge in the second Chapter 13 case that is filed within two years from the filing date of the original Chapter 13. As most Chapter 13 cases are 36 months or longer, this is not typically an issue.

Different Chapter Filings

Chapter 13 THEN Chapter 7—Debtors who receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 if that Chapter 7 case is filed within six years of the date of the filing of the Chapter 13. There are exceptions to this rule, relating to whether all unsecured creditors were paid in full in the Chapter 13. Your bankruptcy attorney can examine this for you if it is a concern.

Chapter 7 THEN Chapter 13—Debtors who file a Chapter 13 after receiving a discharge in a Chapter 7 will not receive a discharge in the Chapter 13 if the Chapter 13 is filed within four years of the date the Chapter 7 was filed.

No Discharge Received

If you did not receive a discharge in your first bankruptcy filing, with very few exceptions, you can successfully complete multiple bankruptcy filings, receiving a discharge in the second filing. One exception is where your original case was dismissed by the court for failure to appear in court, or you voluntarily dismissed your case for some reason.

If you have questions about multiple bankruptcy filings, please feel free to call. I’m happy to answer those questions—it’s part of my job. I can be reached at 704-749-7747.