How Many Times Can You File for Bankruptcy?

file for bankruptcy

How Many Times Can You File for Bankruptcy?

Have you filed for bankruptcy in the past and are now wondering if you can do so again? When you file for bankruptcy and receive a discharge, you can file again in the future. However, there is a waiting period in accordance with the bankruptcy code. In a scenario where no discharge was granted, you do not have to wait before you are able to file for bankruptcy a second time.

Filing for Bankruptcy Twice

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and you have already received a previous Chapter 7 which resulted in a discharge, the waiting period is 8 years from when you filed the original case. The denial of a discharge in this scenario will mean you are still responsible for any debts you have with creditors.

However, if you are instead intending on filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 after receiving a discharge under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the time you have to wait is reduced to four years. This will allow you to potentially receive a discharge of debts including medical bills, credit card debts, and personal loans. Previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings with a discharge also trigger waiting periods before you are once more eligible for discharge, under both Chapter 7 and 13.

The waiting time from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where a discharge was received will depend on the path you intend on pursuing. For a Chapter 7 filing, you must wait 6 years from the date of the last Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing before you can file again. This does not preclude you from obtaining a full discharge during the Chapter 13 filing period, so long as you repay your creditors a minimum of 70% of any unsecured debt. A Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing has a further reduced waiting period of 2 years. You are not entitled to a discharge if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy within this timeframe. However you may still be able to file a Chapter 13 to receive court protection to stop foreclosure or garnishment even if not eligible for a discharge.

As you have likely gathered by this point, when you file for another bankruptcy, it has the potential to impact on whether you receive a discharge, depending on when the subsequent bankruptcy is filed. If you are in any way unsure whether you are eligible to file for additional bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or 13, you should consider speaking to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

At H. Lehman Franklin, we seek to guide our clients through the financial restructuring through an effective strategy that accounts for future ability to maintain a payment plan. We understand it is tempting to grasp at a short-term solution to what is potentially a long term financial burden. It is our job to provide you with the benefit of our experience in managing bankruptcy cases for Georgia clients for over 30 years.

Call our offices today to take your first steps towards financial reorganization with a free consultation. You can reach out to us by telephone at 912-764-9616, via email at, or visit our website for further information on the services we offer.