Although no one wants to end up in bankruptcy protection there are instances in which filing becomes inevitable, even for the second or more time. Bankruptcy laws do allow debtors to file for bankruptcy multiple times, but there are some strict guidelines that dictate when and how the second or more filing can happen.
Bankruptcy laws have outlined specific rules for filing more than once for one reason, they want to ensure the system is effective. The goal of bankruptcy is to help debtors achieve financial relief and set them up for success in the future. To do that, the laws have been put into place to prevent bankruptcy abuse and encourage change in the debtor’s habits.
Anyone considering filing for Chapter 7, after receiving a previous Chapter 7 discharge, will be required to wait 8 years before filing again. This is because Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy and most likely involved the elimination of debts rather than repayment. However, a person can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after 4 years of receiving a Chapter 7 discharge.
Having received a discharge in a previous Chapter 13 allows a bit more flexibility than a prior Chapter 7. In general, a person would have to wait 6 years before filing for Chapter 7 after receiving a discharge in a previous Chapter 13 case. However, only a 2 year waiting period is required between Chapter 13 cases.