The Waiting Game: When Can I File Bankruptcy Again?

HourglassThere’s one thing you can count on – your life will be full of surprises!

Unexpected events like a job loss or a serious medical issue can sometimes necessitate a repeat bankruptcy filing. If so, bankruptcy law dictates the waiting period before you can receive a discharge on a second petition.

How long you have to wait depends on what kind of bankruptcy you filed previously. The clock starts on the date your previous bankruptcy was filed.

If you want to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait:

  • 8 years if your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 7.
  • 6 years if you previously filed a Chapter 13.
If your prior bankruptcy was a Chapter 13, the waiting period for filing a subsequent bankruptcy is:
  • 4 years for a Chapter 7.
  • 2 years for another Chapter 13.

The good news:  In most cases, there is no waiting period.

The bad news:  You must wait 180 days if your prior bankruptcy was dismissed by the Court for one of the following reasons:

  • If you intentionally ignored a court order or failed to appear in court; or
  • If you filed a motion to dismiss after a home or vehicle creditor filed a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay.
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