Can You File Bankruptcy Twice?

by Ciele Edwards ; Updated July 27, 2017
Can You File Bankruptcy Twice?

If debts are causing you intense stress and you have no way to repay them on schedule, you may consider filing for bankruptcy. Even if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, you may file again subject to federal time constraints on repeat filings.


You may file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will liquidate your unprotected assets and discharge your debts, while a Chapter 13 requires you to follow a repayment plan.

Time Frame

After filing bankruptcy, you must wait six to eight years before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and two to four years before filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on which chapter your original bankruptcy was filed under.

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If your financial situation changes and you are in the process of paying off a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you may be eligible to switch to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without filing a second time.


The automatic stay that provides you with legal protection from creditors once you file for bankruptcy may be reduced or eliminated if you file repeatedly.


Some debts, such as student loans and overdue child support payments, cannot be discharged via bankruptcy, no matter which type of bankruptcy you choose or how many times you file.

About the Author

Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.

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