If I received a discharge, when can I refile?

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In a Nutshell

If your bankruptcy was fully discharged, you can refile bankruptcy after a certain amount of time has passed. If you file before the time limit is up, you will not be entitled to have your debts discharged.

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad.  
Updated July 30, 2020


If your bankruptcy was fully discharged, you can refile bankruptcy after a certain amount of time has passed. If you file before the time limit is up, you will not be entitled to have your debts discharged.

Filing a Chapter 7 after a previous Chapter 7 discharge (8 years). For Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, you must wait eight years from the filing date of your previous petition. Filing prematurely before those eight years have expired, you will not be granted a discharge. The eight years start counting from the date the prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed.

Filing a Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7 discharge (4 years). If you need to refile for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after receiving a discharge in a previous Chapter 7 case, you must wait at least four years from the date the previous petition was filed for a complete discharge of your personal loans, medical bills, and credit cards.

If you file before those four years are up, your unsecured debts will not be discharged. The time limit is only applicable if you got a discharge (not a dismissal) for your Chapter 7 filing.

Filing a Chapter 7 after a Chapter 13 discharge (6 years). If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and got a discharge and now need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait at least six years from the filing date of your Chapter 13 case to receive a full discharge.

If you file before the six years are up, you must have paid unsecured creditors a minimum of 70% of their balance during the repayment plan set up through your Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to now receive a discharge.

If you didn’t pay your unsecured creditors at least 70% and you file Chapter 7 within six years of your Chapter 13 filing, you will not get a discharge of debts.

Filing a Chapter 13 after a previous Chapter 13 discharge (2 years). If you had a Chapter 13 filing that ended with a discharge and you need to refile Chapter 13 again, you cannot file any sooner than two years from when your previous case was filed.

If you file within two years of your previous filing, you will not be entitled to have debts discharged in the new bankruptcy case.



About the author
Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

Kristin is a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. At Harvard Law, she served as a member of the Harvard Defenders, the Women’s Law Association, and Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Black Law Stude... read more

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