If I received a discharge, when can I refile?

3,361 families filed bankruptcy using Upsolve.

Written by Kristin Turner.  
Updated May 16, 2019

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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.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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