When a person has filed bankruptcy in the past, they may want to know how long they must wait to file bankruptcy again. If a person has filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and received a discharge of their debts, they must wait 8 years before they can file another Chapter 7 petition. However, the waiting period to receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case after a previous Chapter 7 case is only 4 years. Sometimes unfortunate circumstances create a need for a second bankruptcy in less than 4 years after the filing of a Chapter 7 case. You can file a Chapter 13 case less than 4 years after filing a Chapter 7 case and receive court protection from your creditors, but you won’t receive a discharge of your debts. It sometimes makes sense to file such a case to prevent foreclosure of a residence or to receive court protection from creditors.