I filed a chapter 7 five years ago. How long do I have to wait to file bankruptcy again?

You can file over and over, but that is a bad idea.  What we’re really worried about is getting a discharge.

Short answer:  you can file a chapter 13 immediately to stop creditors, whether or not you’re eligible for a discharge.

Long answer:  this is a complicated one.

If you want to discharge your debts in a new chapter 7, you have to wait for 8 years from the date of filing the last Chapter 7 (that gave you a discharge).   If you had a discharge in a 13, then you have to wait 6 years from the date that Chapter 13 was filed.  (Unless that Chapter 13 paid either 100% of the unsecured claims or paid 70% of the unsecured claims and was proposed in good faith).

If you want to discharge your debts in a Chapter 13, then you have to wait two years from the file date from your last 13 that got a discharge.  If you want a discharge in your Chapter 13 after filing a 7, then you have to wait 4 years from the file date of that Chapter 7.

Here is a handy chart that someone sent me (I have no idea who put it together, but it is a good one):  time between bankruptcies

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