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How long do you have to wait to file bankruptcy again?

Pittsburgh, PA |

I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008 and now I am in so much debt, I am thinking about filing again. If I can't file a chapter 7, then can I file a chapter 13? I live in Pennsylvania and I don't own a home or a car, so I have nothing to lose with the chapter 7 and my debts total about $15,000.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes, you may indeed be eligible for a 13. I suggest you contact a local attorney in your area. 13's can be filed 4 years after a chapter 7, and although they do require some payment, they can reduce the amount you owe to a very manageable level and eliminate interest as well. You can have up to 5 years to repay.


  2. In a nutshell, the time frames between discharge eligibility are as follows:
    8 years between 7s
    2 years between 13s
    4 years between a 7 and 13
    6 years between a 13 and 7 (if under 70% plan)
    The time is counted from filing to filing — not from first discharge to second filing.
    You should seek the advice of an experienced BK Lawyer. He/She may tell you that you are judgment proof anyway and need not do anything at this time.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


  3. The time limit between chapter 7s is 8 years from the date of filing of the first one. This presumes you received a discharge in the first case. The time limit from a previous 7 with a discharge to a new 13 is 4 years from the date of filing the 7. Based on what you've said, you should be eligible to file a 13 at this point, assuming you have enough income to fund a partial repayment plan. You should consult a local, experienced bankruptcy attorney for more detailed information.

    The answers to these questions may be different depending on your individual circumstance and should not be considered as legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.