How long after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can you file for Chapter 13?

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Question:

How long after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can you file for Chapter 13?

Answer:

If you receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot get another Chapter 7 discharge for eight years and you cannot get a discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy unless you wait to file for four years. 

Note that the rules don't prevent you from filing for bankruptcy; they only prohibit a discharge. That means you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy sooner than four years, but that you won't receive a discharge of your remaining debts at the end of your repayment plan.

Many people benefit from filing for Chapter 13 right after finishing a Chapter 7. It's common enough that it has earned it's own informal name -- "Chapter 20 bankruptcy."

You can use a "Chapter 20 bankruptcy" to deal with debts that were not discharged through your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Chapter 13 repayment plan gives you an opportunity to pay off those debts over three or five years with the protection of the bankruptcy court.

Updated by: , J.D.

This site does not provide legal advice and users of this site should not interpret any of the information presented here as legal advice. The information provided merely conveys general information related to commonly asked legal questions. We are not a law firm and the employees responding to questions are not acting as your legal attorney. You should ultimately consult with a lawyer for your case.

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