Subsequent Bankruptcy Claims and Debt Discharge Eligibility in California

How Long Should I Wait before Filing for a Second Bankruptcy Claim in California?

Filing for bankruptcy no doubt is a big step in when undergoing dire financial situations that threaten your property and business due to debt issues with creditors. A successful bankruptcy petition will likely get you off the hook, with your property being protected from such creditor actions. Financial challenges, however, are unpredictable and might recur again in the future after successful debt discharge. 

So how can one protect their property and business in such a situation after a successful bankruptcy discharge?

As a resident in the state of California, you are allowed to file for bankruptcy multiple times even after discharging your debts through an initial bankruptcy claim. The country has in place no limits as to the number of bankruptcy claims one can file for under the California laws.

Also, the state doesn’t restrict the time limit before filing for a new bankruptcy claim, allowing you to submit for a second one right after the first one closes if you need to. 

A crucial point to note, however, is that the state may impose limits on eligibility for dischargeable debts after filing for the first bankruptcy case.  This, however, depends on the specific Chapter you are registering for.

For instance, if you had successfully filed for a bankruptcy case and discharged your debts under Chapter 7, you could still be eligible to file for a subsequent debt discharge under Chapter 13. 

However, if you wish to file for debt discharge under the same Chapter as your previous case, you would have to wait for a pre-set period before being eligible again. 

If you had previously received a discharge under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you would have to wait for another eight years to qualify for another discharge under the same Chapter and four years to be eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge.

On the other hand, if you had previously had your debts discharged through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a waiting period of 6 years is required before qualifying for a Chapter 7 discharge and two years for another Chapter 13 discharge.

Notwithstanding these factors, individuals and businesses in California often file for subsequent bankruptcy claims with the intent of protecting their property with the ‘automatic stay’ order that comes with such a petition.

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