Bankruptcy Filing Time Limitations

You can only file bankruptcy and get a discharge so often. You can file a Chapter 13 the day after your Chapter 7 case closes to stop a foreclosure. But, you will not get a discharge in the second Chapter 13 case. There are bankruptcy filing limitations that require you to wait years after one discharge until your next discharge. You cannot file a Chapter 7 until eight years after your prior Chapter 7 to get the permanent court order which prevents collections.

Filing a Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 gets you the benefit of the stay, allowing you to manage student loans, a foreclosure, or income tax debt over a three or five-year period. But the stay is only a temporary order. You can stop a foreclosure with a Chapter 13 even though you won’t get the discharge. The stay can control IRS and Student loan garnishments, sometimes paying little or nothing to the debt for a period of years.

Bankruptcy Filing Time Limitations

If you need to strip a second mortgage, you have to get the discharge in Chapter 13 which can strip a mortgage with no equity. So you might not want to file a Chapter 7 and then follow it up with a 13. When you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a stay goes into effect from a temporary court order. Usually, the goal is to get the permanent court order called a discharge at the end of the case. You can only obtain one discharge every few years. But you can file a Chapter 13 whether you get a discharge or not. A Chapter 13 stay allows you to manage debts that survived a Chapter 7 with the stay. Since the stay in Chapter 13 lasts for 3-5 years you have time to pay off a Student loan, foreclosure, or priority tax debt.

⎆ Table of bankruptcy time limitations.

These are the bankruptcy filing time limitations. We calculate these periods from the date you filed the first bankruptcy until you file the following bankruptcy.

To convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 and get a discharge, you must have qualified for a Chapter 7 at the time of filing the Chapter 13. If you filed a Chapter 13 because you were not eligible for a Chapter 7, you would not be able to convert. You have to instead dismiss the Chapter 13 and file a new case as Chapter 7. Because the time runs from “date filed” to “date filed,” you have to dismiss these cases and refile.

These are the amounts of time you have to wait from one discharge until you can get the next discharge.

Type of Original Discharge

Next Case is a:

Waiting period


Chapter 7 discharge

Next Chapter 7

8 years

11 USC 727 (8)

Chapter 7 discharge

Next Chapter 13 discharge

4 years

11 USC 1328 f

Chapter 13 paid over 70%

Next Chapter 7 discharge

There is no waiting

Chapter 13 paid less than 70%

Next Chapter 7 next discharge

6 years

11 USC 727 (9)

Chapter 13 discharge

Next Chapter 13 next discharge

2 years

11 USC 1328 f

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If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, don’t delay because timing is crucial. I am here to help you. So, contact my office right away to start the conversation. Nick C. Thompson, Bankruptcy Lawyer: 502-625-0905.

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