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Bankruptcy FAQ

When can you file for Chapter 13 after another bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Chapter 13

While bankruptcy can provide the means to relieve burdensome debt, unfortunately some people end up back in financial trouble afterward. If you want to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after you have already gone through bankruptcy once before, you may wonder if it is even possible.

The good news is that the legal system does allow for subsequent bankruptcies, including Chapter 13. Still, certain circumstances may dictate when a court will accept your Chapter 13 filing.

Chapter 13 following another Chapter 13

If you had previously filed Chapter 13 and received a discharge, you have only a short period to wait between your prior filing date and a second one, at two years. Still, not many people can file a second Chapter 13 so soon since completing a Chapter 13 repayment plan takes three to five years.

However, some filers can petition for a hardship discharge to clear away debt due to unforeseen hardships that make it impracticable to complete the repayment plan. This may speed up the time to file for another Chapter 13 if it is necessary.

Chapter 13 following Chapter 7

After attaining a discharge through Chapter 7, you have four years to wait after your Chapter 7 filing date to petition for Chapter 13. However, you might be able to avoid the waiting period if you file Chapter 13 with the condition that a court will not discharge your debt.

Some people set up a Chapter 13 shortly after Chapter 7 to create a payment plan for debts that Chapter 7 could not discharge. This allows you to use bankruptcy to stop creditor collection efforts while giving you breathing room to deal with your debt.

Chapter 13 following a bankruptcy dismissal

Not all bankruptcies end with a discharge of outstanding amounts. In fact, sometimes a court dismisses a bankruptcy entirely. You may also voluntarily dismiss your case.

In the event of a bankruptcy dismissal, you may have 180 days to wait until you can file for Chapter 13 or another bankruptcy again. Be aware that a court might not grant a stay of collection or repossession efforts if the judge thinks you are filing bankruptcy too often.

While different situations can effect when you file again for Chapter 13, the fact is that this form of bankruptcy is a tool you can use more than once to help you out of tough debt problems.