Your bankruptcy case is dismissed and you go into a panic. You hear Chicken Little screaming in the background, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” The first thing is do not panic. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE and you must act quickly but often cases that are dismissed can be reinstated. The general reason why a case is dismissed is because the debtor did not do something. Whether the debtor’s attorney was supposed to do something or the debtor was supposed to submit something to the attorney, the ultimate responsibility falls to YOU the debtor. You must take an active interest in your case because no one cares for you more than you should be caring for you.
If your case is dismissed find out why the case was dismissed. Did you not make the payments, did you not respond to a motion, did you not call your attorney, etc… Once you rectify the situation make sure that a Motion to Reinstate the case is filed within 10 days or whatever your local rules require. If the problem is that your attorney is not returning your calls it is still YOUR responsibility to file the Motion to Reinstate the case.† If you fail to meet the deadline the Order to Dismiss will be finalized generally within 10 days and you will NOT be able to reinstate your case. This means that you have a bankruptcy filing on your credit bureau and the creditors begin to collect again.† One note, sometimes your case will be dismissed and there is NO reinstatement possibility.† One such example is if you are required to take credit counseling and did not.† Your case will be dismissed with no ifs, ands or buts as well as no possibility of reinstatement.
Do not ignore paperwork form the court or your attorney. Do you not sit back and wait for your attorney to check in with you, follow up on your case and be prepared. Ask questions if you do not understand something and submit the documentation requested by the court or your attorney. Finally if you are in a Chapter 13 you must make your Plan payment on time each and every month or your case will be dismissed.
Be informed, be proactive and be successful in your bankruptcy.