Can I Re-File a Bankruptcy After it is dismissed?

A bankruptcy case could get dismissed for a variety of reasons, either voluntarily or involuntarily. A bankruptcy attorney can advise you about what options you have if you decide that you need to refile your case after your first case is dismissed. If a case is dismissed, then a debtor will wind up right back where they started facing collection calls, collection letters, lawsuits, garnishment or even foreclosure. With that said some debtors may choose to let their cases get involuntarily dismissed as they only needed to file in order to delay a foreclosure to allow for a loan modification or short sale.

A case can be involuntarily dismissed if a debtor fails to provide proper documents to a trustee, fails to show up for their meeting of creditors, fails to make chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments or fails to file a credit counseling certificate. A case can be voluntarily dismissed in a chapter 13 bankruptcy by filing a motion to dismiss the case which should be granted by a bankruptcy judge in accordance with the Federal bankruptcy code.

If a bankruptcy is involuntarily dismissed within the last year prior to re-filing a bankruptcy, then the bankruptcy automatic stay will only be in affect for 30 days post filing. The automatic stay is the bankruptcy law that protects debtors from creditors and does not allow any creditors to collect on a debt or foreclose on a home without court permission. If the debtor wishes to extend out the automatic stay, they must file a motion with the court requesting protection and stating that they have refiled their bankruptcy in good faith. In most cases this motion will be granted, however if the debtor is a serial bankruptcy filer or had there case dismissed involuntarily with no valid reason to show good faith, a bankruptcy court may choose not to grant a motion which allows for the extension of the bankruptcy automatic stay.

If for some reason a 3rd bankruptcy is filed, there is no automatic stay protection allowed at filing and a debtor would need to file a motion asking for reinstatement of the automatic stay immediately. With that said it is not likely that this motion would be granted unless the debtor had a good excuse for filing so many bankruptcy. A good excuse would not consist of “I wanted to stop the sale on my home” as the court needs to look out for the best interest of creditors as well.

If you have additional questions please call Symmes Law Group at 206-682-7975

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