Can You File for a Second Bankruptcy?

Either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy should give the filer a fresh start with their finances upon completion. There is, however, no guarantee that everything will go smoothly forever, and mistakes can happen again. What happens if you find yourself in a financial predicament a few years down the road from your bankruptcy filing? Will you be allowed to file again? The answer is: Yes, but only after a certain point.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


If you have been discharged from a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you have been excused from paying a substantial amount of accumulated debt, and the process probably only took a few months to complete.

  • Another Chapter 7: If you feel that you need to file for this kind of bankruptcy again, you will only be allowed to do so if 8 years have passed since the date of your initial filing.
  • Chapter 13 After Chapter 7: You may petition the court to open a Chapter 13 bankruptcy 4 years after filing for Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you have successfully completed a Chapter 13 case, you have paid back a portion of your debt over 3 or 5 years. And you probably chose this type of bankruptcy in order to protect property that would not have been eligible for exemption under Chapter 7, or you were simply bringing in too much income to be eligible for Chapter 7.

  • Another Chapter 13: The rule for this type of bankruptcy is that there must be at least two years between filings, but considering the fact that these cases take at least 3 years to complete, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Chapter 7 After Chapter 13: If you have completed a Chapter 13 case, only to discover that you are going to need the benefits of a Chapter 7 discharge, you will need to wait four years after your original petition.

Dismissed Cases

If you have filed for bankruptcy, but had the case dismissed either through your own choice or by the court because you violated an order, the court has the power to prevent you from filing a new case for 180 days after your original filing. You must also keep in mind that there are rules in place that may reduce the benefits of filing for bankruptcy after an unsuccessful attempt has been made. For example, the “automatic stay” (an order that prevents lenders from pursuing debt) may be made less protective and/or inclusive.

Recovering After a Bankruptcy

Whether you have been discharged from a first or a second bankruptcy, you’re going to want to start rebuilding your credit as quickly as possible. And you may also find yourself in need of reliable transportation. Luckily, Auto Credit Express can help. While it may be difficult to get approved for financing through a traditional lender, our dealers can work with your situation. Just fill out our fast and secure application to get started today.

Posted on February 2, 2015 by in Bankruptcy
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