How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?
If we have learned anything during the pandemic era, it is that things are more fragile than they seem. Global economies can be stopped in their tracks, threatening the financial health of millions of individuals. Many people who filed for bankruptcy in the past may find themselves in dire financial straits due to COVID-induced job losses or business downsizing. If you are in such a situation, you are probably wondering whether you can file for bankruptcy again.
The good news is that there are no limits on how many times you can file for bankruptcy. There are, however, rules about how long you need to wait after one bankruptcy before filing a second.
The length of time you must wait depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed the first time and the type you need to file now. There are four possible scenarios:
- Chapter 7 to Chapter 7 — You can file a new Chapter 7 petition eight years after the date of your first filing.
- Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 — You can file a new Chapter 13 proceedings two years after the date of your first filing.
- Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 — You can initiate Chapter 13 proceedings four years after the date you filed for Chapter 7.
- Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 — You can initiate Chapter 7 proceedings six years after the date you filed for Chapter 13. You can file for Chapter 7 sooner if you have paid off 70 percent or more of your unsecured debt.
These time limits may not apply if your first bankruptcy filing was dismissed. The only caveat is that if the dismissal occurred because you failed to follow court instructions during your first bankruptcy, you may need to wait six months before filing again.
As with many aspects of bankruptcy law, there are certain technical requirements that may affect your subsequent bankruptcy filings. That is why it is important to talk through your particular situation with an experienced California bankruptcy lawyer who can confirm your eligibility to file for bankruptcy again.
If you are facing the prospect of a second bankruptcy, reach out to the attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger in Beverly Hills. We have completed thousands of Chapter 7 and 13 cases in California and we’re here to evaluate your situation and advise you on the best course of action. Please call 310-271-6223 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.