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How Long After You File Bankruptcy Can You File Again

Filing Bankruptcy After Your First Bankruptcy Case Was Dismissed Or Discharge Denied

Legal Help : How Long After Filing Bankruptcy Can You File Again?

If your previous bankruptcy did not go through, special waiting periods apply. How long you must wait depends on whether your bankruptcy case was dismissed or denied. In most cases, if your bankruptcy is dismissed, you can file again right away. However, if it was dismissed due to certain factors, such as your failure as a failure to comply with legal requirements, you might need to wait 180 days before you re-file. A prior dismissal could also affect the automatic stay of collection efforts that normally accompanies a bankruptcy filing. If your previous bankruptcy resulted in a denial of final discharge, you are generally eligible to file again immediately.

Filing for bankruptcy is complex, and legal waiting periods make subsequent bankruptcies even more complicated than first bankruptcy filings. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can walk you through the laws and regulations that govern your particular case. He or she can help you choose the type of bankruptcy to file that will make the most sense for you. The attorney can explain this complex area of the law in simple terms so that you will be able to completely understand what happens if you file bankruptcy twice.

If you are ready to take the first steps toward financial freedom, call The Law Offices of David M. Offen today at 625-9600 to schedule your free initial consultation. Were here to help you every step of the way.

If Your Previous Bankruptcy Was A Chapter 7

If you previously filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy successfully, this means you may have had some of your assets liquidated to pay off delinquent debts. You also had debts included in your bankruptcy discharged.

If you are in a position where you are once again struggling to repay delinquent debts, you must wait at least eight years before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again. Keep in mind, however, that the eight years begins from the original date of filing and not the original date of the first Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.

You may, however, file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and receive a discharge after a successful Chapter 7 case after waiting only four years.

Yesner notes that occasionally you can file a motion for Chapter 13 bankruptcy sooner than four years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and that this scenario is a lot more common than people think. Its so common, in fact, that attorneys have come up with a slang term to describe a Chapter 7 bankruptcy followed promptly by a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This slang term, which is not really a type of bankruptcy at all, is called a Chapter 20. According to Yesner, some courts allow this type of case to proceed and others do not.

Yesner offered the following example to explain how he is helping a client in this exact situation:

Consider The Cons Of Double Filing

If you file too soon, you cannot legally have another debt discharge until the time limits have passed, so the process could waste your time and money.

Furthermore, if a judge finds that you have filed again “in bad faith,” they will stop your automatic stay , unless you can provide clear and convincing evidence that you filed in good faith. They might even throw your case out.

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Filing Under The Same Bankruptcy Chapter: Chapter 7 And Chapter 13

Here are the timeframes if you plan to file the same bankruptcy chapter that you filed the first time:

Successive Chapter 7 cases

  • You’ll have to wait eight years after the first Chapter 7 case filing date before filing the second case.

Successive Chapter 13 cases

  • Two years must elapse between filing dates before you’ll be entitled to receive a second Chapter 13 discharge.

Chapter 7 Followed By A Chapter :

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You are free to file a Second Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 even if you received a discharge in your previous case. If you wait long enough, you are also entitled to receive a discharge again.

After you have received a discharge in your first Bankruptcy Filing Under Chapter 7, you have to wait for eight years before you file for Bankruptcy again under the same Chapter.

For example, if you file for Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7 on May 8, 2019, then you will be eligible for a discharge if you file a second Bankruptcy after May 8, 2027.

Filing prior to that the date would make you ineligible to get a discharge and you will be legally responsible for clearing your debts.

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Can I File Bankruptcy Twice In California It Depends Borowitz & Clark

COVID-19 UpdatePlease see here07/25/2019

Youve already filed for bankruptcy once and received your discharge in court. Congratulations, this is a big step!

Your financial fresh start has been going well but now the bills are starting to pile up again. Maybe its a variable rate mortgage, medical expenses, or simply the increasing cost of living in Los Angeles. Whatever the reason, your finances are in jeopardy, and youre considering filing for bankruptcy again. But how does it work to file for bankruptcy twice in California?

This post lays out the rules and laws regarding a second personal or consumer bankruptcy. Youll find the answers to these and other frequently asked questions: how soon can I file for bankruptcy again? Whats different about filing a second or subsequent bankruptcy? How common is a second bankruptcy?

Lets delve into the facts and begin the path to financial recovery.

Article at a Glance


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Waiting Periods

Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court wipes away most unsecured debts. That, in turn, has the most negative impact on your credit report.

Once the case is discharged, lenders will enforce a waiting period, otherwise known as a seasoning period, for those hoping to apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy. Waiting periods include:

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Receiving Another Bankruptcy Discharge

You’ll qualify for another discharge if you meet the waiting period rules. Here’s how it works.

Chapter 7 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 7 discharge previously, eight years must elapse between the old and new filing dates.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 13. Two years must elapse between the two filing dates to receive a discharge in Chapter 13. Because a Chapter 13 repayment plan usually takes three to five years to complete, you’ll likely be eligible for a second discharge after finishing the first case.

Chapter 7 to Chapter 13. Four years must elapse between the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filing dates. Chapter 13 has its benefits even if you don’t receive a discharge, however. For instance, you can pay off priority debts, such as newly-incurred taxes or domestic support arrearages. Or, you can catch up on missed mortgage or vehicle loan payments and keep a house or car. Filing for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge is commonly referred to as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 13 discharge and you’d like to receive a Chapter 7 discharge, you’ll have to wait six years between filing dates. But there is an exception to this rule. The six-year rule won’t apply if, in the previous Chapter 13, you paid back:

  • all of your unsecured debts, or
  • at least 70% of your unsecured debts in a plan proposed in good faith and implemented through your best efforts.

B Chapter 13 Bankruptcy To Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

How long before I can file bankruptcy again?

If you had filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy before and received a discharge, you must wait for at least two years before filing another Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. However, this is rare because the minimum length of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan is three years.

Receiving another discharge before the end of the three-year repayment plan is only possible if you experience an unexpected hardship that makes it almost impossible to complete your repayment plan.

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Chapter 7 Followed By A Chapter 1:

If you have previously filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and received a discharge, then you need to wait for four years if you want to receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

If you wait for four years, than you can obtain a discharge for your Medical Bills, Personal Loans and Credit Card Bills, among other debts.

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy before the four years will not cover your Unsecured Debts.

That means if you filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on May 4, 2019 and received a Discharge, then you have to file for Chapter 13 after May 4, 2023 in order to receive a discharge in that case.

However, the 4-year timeline is only applicable when you obtain a discharge in your last Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing.

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Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than Once

Many people are surprised to learn that they can file for bankruptcy more than once. In fact, there are no limits placed on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy. However, there are limits that apply to how often you can receive a discharge of your debts in bankruptcy.

In this blog, we will explain the timing limitations for repeat bankruptcy filings, whether you can re-file for bankruptcy if your case was dismissed and why you might want to file for bankruptcy even if your debts cannot be discharged.

The type of bankruptcy you choose to file affects how soon you can file again.

If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait 8 years before you can file Chapter 7, again. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you cannot receive another Chapter 13 discharge for two years from the date you filed your first Chapter 13 case.

If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7, you cannot get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13 case unless you file the Chapter 13 case more than four years from the filing date of the Chapter 7.

If you received a discharge in a Chapter 13, you cannot get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 case unless you file the second case more than six years from the filing date of the Chapter 13.

If your bankruptcy case was dismissed, you may file again unless the court says otherwise. For example, if your case was dismissed due to fraud. For all other purposes, your case may be re-filed after 180 days.

Why Was My Bankruptcy Discharge Denied

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In most instances, you case will be discharged. Rarely, when a debtor intentionally commits fraud against the creditor, will your discharge be denied. Below are some examples of why you would be denied discharge:

  • You are not honest with the court or your trustee about assets, income, debts, or expenses.
  • You did not disclose previous bankruptcy cases to the court.
  • You attempted to hide assets or did not account for loss of assets .
  • You committed fraud against creditors.

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Can You File Under A Different Chapter Than Before

Have you decided to file for bankruptcy a second time, but under a different chapter than the first? If so, it is important to discuss what restrictions could apply with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Chicago. The time limitations vary in each scenario .

These are the time limitations to file:

  • Filing Under Chapter 13, Then Chapter 7 If your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may need to wait six years from the date of the original filing to receive a second discharge under a different chapter.
  • Under Chapter 7, Then Chapter 13 You may need to wait four years from the date of the original filing if your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is needed to receive a second discharge under a different chapter.

If you have decided to file under Chapter 13 after initially filing under Chapter 7, it is important that you review the restrictions of successive filings with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. The court may not approve your financial plan, and cause your case to convert into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you decided to file less than eight years after the first filing, however, you may be ineligible for a second discharge of debt. Discuss your situation with our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer!

Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Several common-sense tips apply, starting with addressing your finances to improve your credit score before you file for bankruptcy. Getting the financial house in as much order as possible before filing means you will start a challenging process with the highest credit score possible.

Other steps follow discharge and involve rebuilding credit after bankruptcy they fall under the umbrella heading: Get and keep your financial house in order:

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Chapter To Chapter Options

Chapter 7 to another Chapter 7 bankruptcy 8 years Chapter 7 now filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy 4 years Chapter 13 now filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy 6 years Chapter 13 to another Chapter 13 bankruptcy 2 years

The wait times help prevent abuse of the system and high credit card debt that cannot be repaid. You are expected to make your best effort to pay off bankruptcy in between filings.

When Restrictions Don’t Apply

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Under certain circumstances, you would not need to worry about time limitations for a second bankruptcy filing. If your first petition was dismissed because you had failed to appear in court, you would only need to wait 180 days before filing againregardless of whether or not you would be filing under the same chapter.

In the event that you were not granted a discharge of debt in the original bankruptcy case, you may also choose to re-file without restrictions. It is important to understand that the court may not discharge the debt that was included in the original case, however, so this decision should be carefully considered with a Chicago Bankruptcy lawyer.

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Chapter 20 Bankruptcy: Filing Another Bankruptcy Before The Time Limit Is Up

The time limits above refer to how long a debtor has to wait to discharge debt through another bankruptcy. If you aren’t looking for another debt discharge, but would like to arrange a plan to manage your remaining debts, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after a Chapter 7 discharge might be an option for you.

Filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in succession is informally called a “Chapter 20 bankruptcy.” The process of filing for Chapter 13 right after the Chapter 7 discharge process can be complicated, and many courts will not allow a double filing before the time limit is up. An attorney can explain the strategy behind double filing and how it may fit into your specific circumstances.

Dealing With Your Vehicle

One of the forms you will file with the bankruptcy court is called the Statement of Intention. In this form, you tell the court what you plan to do with property that is securing a debt you owe, like real estate or a vehicle.

If you own your vehicle but are still paying on the loan, you have a few options on how to deal with it in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


You can reaffirm the debt, keep your vehicle, and continue making payments. This means the debt will not be discharged and you will continue making monthly payments during and after bankruptcy. If you miss future payments the lender will have the right to repossess the vehicle and possibly try to collect on any deficiency between the balance you owe and the amount they get when selling the vehicle.

If you select this option in your Statement of Intention, your car lender will send you a reaffirmation agreement for you to complete and return. In some bankruptcy cases a reaffirmation hearing will be scheduled.


If you choose to surrender your vehicle, then it will be repossessed and the debt will be discharged in your bankruptcy. Filers with high car payments they can’t afford often choose to surrender their car to get out of the debt.


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Need Help Filing A New Bankruptcy

If you find it necessary to file another bankruptcy, we can discuss your situation in depth and complete privacy by phone or at a sit down free consultation.

Orange County bankruptcy attorney, Norma Duenas, is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who graduated from the University of San Diego Law School, Cum Laude. Ms. Duenas has handled many complex Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. She has previously assisted clients in litigation, immigration matters and has handled hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in the Riverside, Orange County, Los Angeles, Temecula and Murrieta areas of Southern California.

If youd like to have a no cost consultation with bankruptcy attorney Duenas, you can make an appointment with our founding attorney, Norman Duenas, by calling or if its after hours and well get back to you.


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