How quickly can an individual who has received a Chapter 7 discharge obtain a new Chapter 7 discharge?
The answer is in 11 U.S.C.A. § 727(a)(8), which provides that the Bankruptcy Court shall grant a discharge, unless:
(8) the debtor has been granted a discharge under this section, under section 1141 of this title, or under section 14, 371, or 476 of the Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within 8 years before the date of the filing of the petition;
This is why you see what some people refer to as “Chapter 20” bankruptcy cases, in which a debtor receives a discharge in Chapter 7 and then immediately (or soon thereafter) files a subsequent Chapter 13 case. The debtor doesn’t get a discharge in the Chapter 13, but can get the other benefits of Chapter 13, like stretching out the amortization of a debt that was reaffirmed in Chapter 7 or obtaining a stay from collection on liens or reaffirmed debts.
This is a change from earlier law, which set the time period between discharges using a 6 year period.