Facing bankruptcy in California for a second time?

When you went through bankruptcy, you probably figured that it would be your last financial hurdle. Now, something has happened that has put you right back in the same financial distress you faced before, such as a medical emergency, job loss or unexpected divorce.

The good news is that you can file for bankruptcy more than once. There are strict federal laws that regulate how often you can file for bankruptcy and receive a discharge, but it is possible to have multiple bankruptcies – there is no limit on how many cases you can file.

Generally, if you want to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, you have to wait eight years after one Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again. However, you only have to wait two years to file a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Other timeframes include:

  • If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 after four years have elapsed.
  • If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13, you can file a Chapter 7 after six years have elapsed.


There are also other options to protect you if the necessary number of years has not elapsed. For example, you may be able to immediately file a Chapter 13 to protect yourself from creditor harassment and wage garnishment even if you will not receive a discharge after the five-year bankruptcy plan is complete.

Deciding when to file a subsequent bankruptcy can be complex and often depends on the debtor’s unique financial situation. Speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to learn the best options for you.

We understand that you never expected to be in this place once, let alone twice. Life has a way of knocking us when we are down but there are solutions, even to the most difficult financial situations.

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