Can I file a Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation Bankruptcy after I have received a Chapter 7 discharge?

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 By Attorney Amy K. Tanner

There are certain time limitations on filing repeated bankruptcies. However, there is almost never a time that you cannot file a chapter 13 bankruptcy if you are facing a financial hardship and need the benefit of the automatic stay in order to stop your creditors from pursuing you with garnishments, foreclosure, repossession or other harassing collection efforts. (See my blog post of 9/24/2012 for further explanation of the automatic stay).

If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you cannot file another chapter 7 bankruptcy for which you can receive a discharge for 8 years from the date of filing the first chapter 7. Therefore, it is not feasible to file a chapter 7 at all within that 8 year period.

If you have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy for which you have received a discharge, you can file a Chapter 13 Debt consolidation 4 years from the date of the filing of the chapter 7.

Some of the other time limitations on filing repeat bankruptcies are times between chapter 13 filings. If you initially filed a chapter 13 and received a discharge you must wait only two years to file another chapter 13 or,  if you need a total fresh start,  you need only wait 6 years from the time of filing a chapter 13 from which you received a discharge to file a chapter 7.

There are some other intricacies of time limitations based upon whether or not you converted a previous bankruptcy case from one chapter to another or whether or not you received a discharge.

These limitations can seem confusing to navigate. If you are being harassed by your creditors or are facing a foreclosure, repossession, and/or a garnishment and you are afraid that you cannot file a bankruptcy for relief because you have filed one before, please contact one of our offices nearest to you as there is almost never a time that you cannot get some type of relief in bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with your debt and have filed bankruptcy before and need assistance and relief from your creditors please contact the Bond and Botes office nearest you for a free private and confidential consultation with one of our licensed attorneys to discuss your options.