This question is asked often: “I filed chapter 7 in October of 2008 [the month and year vary] and got my chapter 7 discharge in February of 2009 [variable, depending on the date of filing]. I need to file again, but someone told me I had to wait eight years to file a new petition. Is that true, and if so, is the 8 years measured from the date of filing, or the date of discharge?”
Consumer debtors are entitled to only one chapter 7 discharge every eight years. An individual can file for chapter 7 relief more frequently, but if the case is filed less than eight years after the preceding chapter 7 filing, the debtor will not be entitled to a discharge in the latter case.
Because the discharge is the principal reason for filing bankruptcy, it generally makes little sense to file until the day after the 8th anniversary of the prior case. And it is the date of filing, not the date of discharge that is controlling. Accordingly, if you filed your prior chapter 7 before this date 8 years ago, you may file for chapter 7 relief again today with the expectation of receiving a brand new chapter 7 discharge.
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