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Legal Helpers Tip: If you are considering filing bankruptcy and live in the Bay Area of California, there are many very qualified San Francisco bankruptcy lawyers to help you reach your goal. They will explain recent law changes as they relate to California bankruptcy laws and you. California also has a rather short period of time for bankruptcy statute of limitations, which may help you considerably if some of your debt activity is beyond certain dates. For instance, unlike Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri bankruptcy laws, which allow creditors to collect up to ten years after your last activity or charge off date, California only allows creditors to collect up to four years on written contracts. Your San Francisco bankruptcy lawyers will analyze your situation to determine if recent bankruptcy law reform permits you to file a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or if you can only file for Chapter 13 (wage earner) protection.