If you filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last 8 years and received a discharge, you cannot file another chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It is common for chapter 7 bankruptcy filers to need another bankruptcy. So, what do they do?
If it has been less then 4 years, they use a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
11 U.S.C. Section 1328 (f)(1) lays out the rule.
A debtor cannot receive a discharge under chapter 13 if he or she received a discharge in chapter 7, 11, or 12 bankruptcy filed within the last 4 years.
If it has been 4 years and a day, another bankruptcy can be filed.
There are circumstances where the discharge is not needed, and a chapter 13 bankruptcy may be used for other reasons. In those situations, it may be possible to file the chapter 13 bankruptcy post chapter 7 and prior to the 4 year period.