Many consumers in Tennessee who have accumulated debt they cannot pay back choose to file bankruptcy to stop creditors from calling and get a financial fresh start. Debtors can only file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years.

Debtors who have previously filed for a Chapter 7 may be able to file another type of bankruptcy before eight years has passed. A debtor who wants to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can do so after four years have passed since they filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Individuals who have previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can file one again immediately after they have completed the Chapter 13 plan and their debts have been discharged. A debtor who wants to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy must wait six years after filing a Chapter 13. An exception may apply if the debtor has paid off 70 to 100 percent of their unsecured debt.

Those who did not complete their bankruptcy and have their debts discharged because the case was dismissed may need to wait a longer period of time to file for bankruptcy again. Dismissals may be based on failure to comply with a court order, bankruptcy fraud or a debtor voluntarily dismissing their case.

Debtors who need debt relief may benefit from speaking to an attorney about their options. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an effective way to stop creditor harassment and discharge unsecured debts. Some debtors may not qualify for Chapter 7 because they make too much money or want to keep more property than is allowed under exemption rules.

A bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help clients explore other options such as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge unsecured debts remaining after they have made payments according to an income-based plan for several years.