Once your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is discharged, you have to wait eight years from the date you filed before you can file again. On top of that, there are also limits to how many times you can receive a discharge, making it important for you to stay on top of your finances so you don't have to file again.

Bankruptcy Filing Restrictions

You can file as many bankruptcy cases as you want, but there are restrictions on when you can and can’t file a bankruptcy once you’ve completed one. The restrictions depend on the type of bankruptcy you filed, as well as the type you plan on filing.

There are four different bankruptcy filing situations that could occur, according to legal website Nolo.com:

  1. How Soon Can I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Again?Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 – In order to file a Chapter 7 after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to wait at least six years following your Chapter 13 discharge. It’s possible to file before the six-year mark, but you need to have paid off from 70% to 100% of your unsecured debts during the Chapter 13.
  2. Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 – Also called a Chapter 20 bankruptcy, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy four years from the Chapter 7 filing date if the Chapter 7 was discharged.
  3. Chapter 13 to another Chapter 13 – Once your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is discharged, you can file another case immediately.
  4. Chapter 7 to another Chapter 7 – As we noted, you must wait eight years from the date the first one was filed before you can file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What if My Bankruptcy Has Been Dismissed?

In an ideal bankruptcy situation, you get through it and have it successfully discharged. However, it’s possible to have your bankruptcy dismissed, instead. When a bankruptcy is dismissed, it's not completed, which means it’s harder to get approved for a car loan. Lenders don't view this in a good light, and it affects your ability to get financed in the future.

So, what does this mean for future attempts to file bankruptcy? Depending on why your case was dismissed, the court could prevent you from filing again for a longer period of time, or ban you from refiling altogether. If you’re completely banned from refiling, it’s referred to as a 180-bar.

A 180-bar is put in place if you break the court’s orders, commit bankruptcy fraud, or voluntarily dismiss the previous bankruptcy after the creditor files a motion for relief from the automatic stay. It’s important you stick to your bankruptcy plan and ask your trustee any questions you may have about the process.

Looking for an Auto Loan after Bankruptcy?

If you recently had your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged and need an auto loan, we want to help you. At Auto Credit Express, we work with dealerships across the country that specialize in helping borrowers in unique credit situations, including bankruptcy, get financed for the vehicles they need.

We’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and you can start the process right now by submitting our easy and secure car loan request form.