Chapter 13 after Chapter 7
Some people find that, either because of factors beyond their control or because of poor planning, they are unable to establish healthy finances after a bankruptcy filing. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering whether you can file for Chapter 13 after Chapter 7.
To discuss the answer in terms specific to your financial situation with a bankruptcy lawyer, please fill out this form. Arrange a free, no-obligation consultation and learn about your options.
Can I File Chapter 13 after Chapter 7?
The short answer is yes, but there are a couple criteria you must meet in order to qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case after having received a Chapter 7 discharge.
- Waiting period: The first, and perhaps most important, requirement to file Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 is the four-year waiting period. Filers must wait four years after receiving a discharge from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. If the required time has not yet elapsed, you will not be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Stable income: In order to be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (no matter when you file your case), you must have a steady, reliable source of income. That's because Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires filers to make monthly payments in accordance with a repayment plan for a period of three to five years. If you don't have a steady source of income, you risk missing a payment and thus losing the protection of the bankruptcy court.
Other Double Bankruptcy Filings
So what if you don't meet one of the criteria necessary to file Chapter 13 after Chapter 7? You may still have some options for getting debt relief.
- Two Chapter 7 cases: In order to file a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you must wait eight years between your first discharge and the filing of your second petition. The waiting period is longer between Chapter 7 cases than between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 because Chapter 7 offers a more complete discharge of debts; in Chapter 13 cases, filers typically repay a significant portion of their debts to creditors.
- Two Chapter 13 cases: The waiting period between filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy twice is much shorter than the other waiting periods: a mere two years must elapse between getting a first Chapter 13 discharge and filing a second case. This is because Chapter 13 requires filers to make significant repayments to their creditors.
Learn More from a Bankruptcy Lawyer Near You
If you're interested in learning more about whether you might be eligible to file Chapter 13 after Chapter 7, you can ask your questions directly to a bankruptcy attorney practicing in your state. You can get a free case evaluation with an attorney near you simply by filling out this quick case review form.