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How Often can a Person File for Bankruptcy in California?

For most people who , the fresh financial start is a relief. They recover from the difficult time and move on without having to file for another bankruptcy down the line. Some, though, find that a surprise medical bill, job loss, or some other financial stress results in the need for another bankruptcy filing. You may find, however, that filing for bankruptcy a second time is not as easy.

Bankruptcy Filing Time Limits

You can file for bankruptcy as many times and as often as you wish. However, the law limitshow long you must wait after your previous bankruptcy filing to file again if you did receive a full discharge, or elimination, of debt in the previous case:

  • Eight years between Chapter 7 filings
  • Two years between Chapter 13 filings
  • Four years after Chapter 7 to file Chapter 13
  • Six years after Chapter 13 to file for Chapter 7

Although you must wait to file a new bankruptcy if you were awarded relief from your debts, you are not required to wait if your previous case was dismissed without receiving dismissal of your debts. There is one key disadvantage in filing again after having your case dismissed — the automatic stay. In your first bankruptcy filing, you receive an automatic stay, or stoppage, of all debt collection activities immediately upon filing. For the second bankruptcy filed within a year, though, the automatic stay will last for only 30 days, and any subsequent filings within one year receive no automatic stay.

The Difficulty of Multiple Bankruptcies

Even if you are refiling simply because an error in paperwork resulted in the dismissal of your first attempt at bankruptcy, you will find that your second filing is more difficult. Not only must you pay filing and attorney fees again, but the automatic stay, which protects you from creditor harassment, will be limited in length or may not exist at all.

One reason that filing for bankruptcy can be more difficult each time is that creditors have the opportunity to object to discharging your debt. Requesting discharge from the same creditor more than once can raise suspicions that you racked up the debt with no intent to pay. If the creditor wishes, they may object on those grounds, which could result in a requirement that you pay the creditor in full.

The court appointed trustee can also tell the court that it would be unwise to allow you to receive a bankruptcy discharge if they feel that you are abusing the bankruptcy system. Multiple bankruptcy filings can raise red flags for trustees, who will look at you more closely at your case in an attempt to determine whether or not you are acting honestly.

Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney Today

The attorneys at Bankruptcy Law Center can discuss all of your options if you are considering a second or subsequent bankruptcy. Our attorneys have dealt with multiple cases and may be able to help you take advantage of other alternatives to bankruptcy and can help to ensure that your case goes smoothly if you do file for bankruptcy.

(image courtesy of Tristan Colangelo)

See What Our Clients Have To Say

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Roger C.

I reached out to BLC to help assist with a chapter 7 business bankruptcy and they provided excellent guidance, advice, and support through the entire process. In my case an adversarial action was filed by one of the creditors and attorney Ahren Tiller and his staff provided sound ...arguments which prevailed. Couldn’t have found a more experienced and supportive team to represent me in a tricky situation. I would highly recommend them to anyone making the difficult but sometime necessary decision to find financial relief. Read more
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Justin R.

Like many others before and during the pandemic, life happenings caused me to be in a financial situation to warrant bankruptcy. The BLC was super professional all the way through the entire process. Right after I paid for my Bankruptcy, I got sick and had to have surgery and recovery. Then we ...were in full Pandemic mode. They were gracious to delay my filing until I was recovered and ready to file. I could not ask for more. The process was over all quick and painless for a simple Bankruptcy like mine. I feel a weight has been lifted and I can rebuild. Thank you for all your arduous work and patience, Gabriel, Ahren, and their teams are knowledgeable and efficient. Read more
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Katey Huntley

Responsive, friendly, kind, extremely easy to work with! So knowledgeable and made this entire process painless. Very grateful!

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Lynn Molina

Gabriel Hanna, Esq and the staff at BLC helped me in a very difficult time. I appreciate all the help and care they gave my case.

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Linda Cramer

I can’t say enough of how much this bankruptcy law firm helped me with my financial situation. They were all so helpful, efficient and made the difficult time and process as quick and easy as possible. I would recommend them to anyone I know and am glad to give my public recommendation as well. T...hey truly deserve a five star plus rating. Read more
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Andrea N.

I am very happy with my experience with BLC. Bankruptcy is not something anyone wants to go through, however everyone at BLC made my experience pleasant and easy. The process was explained thoroughly and I had an easy time reaching out and connecting with my attorney. Anika Renaud-Kim was my attorney ...and she was nothing short of amazing! She was very patient and generous with her time. Ms. Renaud-Kim definitely made me feel at ease and comfortable through the entire process. Read more
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Lidia Paramore

they did a great job for me, helped me anytime I needed something, my Lawyer Gabriel Hanna is the best, gave lots of confidence all the time..thanks BLC I will.always recommend you, I’m very grateful for your service!!!

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Rachael C.

When searching for information I had called a few different firms and received consults. BLC was the only one who didn’t shy away and provided answers and information during the consult. Once I agreed to move forward, they were supportive, informative, and eased my anxiety through the whole process.... I can’t recommend them enough. Read more
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Emily Martinez

AmazingI had many questions and uncertainties and the carefully explained it all and made it easy to understand. They facilitated a fast and easy process making this scary difficult thing simple

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Legal Disclaimer: The Bankruptcy Law Center is a California Licensed law firm with attorneys licensed in the state of CA, NY. Attorney Ahren Tiller is responsible for this advertisement. Bankruptcy Law Center’s principal office is located at 1230 Columbia st. Suite 850 San Diego, CA 92101. Prior results listed on this site do not depict or in any way infer a prediction or outcome.We are a debt relief agency proudly providing options to people with financial problems. View our Privacy Policy

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