How long after my bankruptcy can I file again?

Question

How long after my bankruptcy can I file again?

Answer

If you received a discharge from your previous bankruptcy (BKY), that is, if your previous BKY was successful and not dismissed, than the time you have to wait until filing again is as follows, in order to receive a discharge:

Previous BKY        New BKY to be filed         Time between the 2 must be

ch7                       ch7                                 8 years

ch7                       ch13                               4 years

ch13                     ch7                                 6 years

ch13                     ch13                               2 years

However, if the previous BKY that you filed was dismissed, you do not have to wait before you are eligible to file BKY again, but if you file BKY again within 1 year from the date your previous BKY was dismissed, then your automatic stay will only be effective for 30 days, unless you are successful on a motion to extend the stay.  The automatic stay is the protection the court gives debtors from the collection efforts of their creditors while the court evaluates the BKY case and determines whether the discharge will be granted or the case dismissed. If your automatic stay expires during your bankruptcy, then your creditors will be able to pursue collection efforts against you until you receive your discharge. Note, that if you wish to file for bankruptcy for a reason other than obtaining a discharge (e.g., to use the automatic stay in a chapter 13 to avoid foreclosure while you bring mortgage arrears current through a chapter 13 payment plan) than the above time restrictions do not apply.  The time restrictions apply only if a discharge was received in the first bankruptcy and you are seeking to discharge debt in the second bankruptcy.