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How Many Times Can I File for Bankruptcy? Can I File for Bankruptcy Two or More Times?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2016 | Firm News

Many people in California are fully aware that a bankruptcy filing is often the most expedient or most effective means of handling excess debt and other financial stressors that make it difficult to make ends meet. Individuals and households that have previously gone through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing and received a discharge already know the power of bankruptcy when it comes to eliminating debt. Filers who proceeded through a previous Chapter 7 filing might be impressed with the speed of the process since, under ideal circumstances, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can be handled in as little as six to eight months. Individuals and households that proceeded through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may recall the unique provisions of that Chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which can protect property and more effectively handle secured debts.

While life events may require a second or other subsequent bankruptcy, financial stress usually involves increased expenses, decreased income, or a combination of both. The attorneys of The Bankruptcy Group recognize that no individual wants to fall back into debt after getting a fresh financial start, but circumstances of life can unfortunately push households into unsustainable financial positions. A Sacramento bankruptcy attorney can help households get out of debt regardless of whether it’s their first bankruptcy filing or they already have experience with the bankruptcy system.

When Will I Be Able to Get a Second Bankruptcy Discharge if I Already Eliminated Debt Under Chapter 7?

If you were previously granted a bankruptcy discharge, a requisite amount of time must elapse before you can receive a second discharge to eliminate your new debts. This fact is generally true no matter the Chapter through which you originally filed for bankruptcy. However, the Chapter of the initial bankruptcy combined with the Chapter for the second bankruptcy will affect the amount of time you have to wait to file a subsequent case.

For instance, if you have been previously granted a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, certain time limits will apply. If you received a discharge under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the past and wish to receive a second discharge under the same Chapter, you will need to wait a minimum of eight years. If you would prefer to engage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to protect property or assets, or you have significant amounts of secured debt, you will need to wait a minimum of four years from the initial discharge for your subsequent bankruptcy proceeding.

When Will I Be Able to Get a Second Bankruptcy Discharge if I Already Eliminated Debt Under Chapter 13?

For individuals who first proceeded through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, waiting periods also typically apply. However, the wait to file a subsequent bankruptcy after an initial filing is generally less than one would experience if the initial filing was under Chapter 7. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, a person who initially filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to avoid the waiting period. In order for this to occur, (s)he must have satisfied all debts owed to secured creditors or 70% of all obligations in the previous Chapter 13 proceeding.

If the individual is not entitled to an exception to the waiting periods, (s)he will need to make sure that the timing is right for the second or subsequent bankruptcy filing. To file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case after receiving a previous Chapter 13 discharge, one will typically need to wait six years from the initial discharge. If an individual wants to file a subsequent Chapter 13 bankruptcy after his or her initial discharge, the waiting period is two years.

Work with a Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyer in California

Regardless of whether this is your first foray into bankruptcy or if you have gone through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding previously, the Sacramento Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys of The Bankruptcy Group can help. We have law offices conveniently located in Roseville and Folsom, California just minutes from Sacramento and its courthouses. To schedule a confidential and free initial bankruptcy consultation, call 888-710-4334 or contact us online today.