My Bankruptcy Case was Dismissed. What Does That Mean?

by Jay Fleischman, Esq.

September 18, 2009

Recently, I have been receiving a number of calls from people whose bankruptcy case has been dismissed or is about to be dismissed and he or she doesn’t understand what that means.

First, the automatic stay that was imposed when you filed your bankruptcy petition is no longer in effect.  This means that your creditors can attempt to collect their debt  – including phone calls and court action, they can repossess your vehicles, furniture and other secured items if you are behind in your payments, and the mortgage company can start foreclosure proceedings.  You no longer have the protection of the bankruptcy court.

Dismissal is different than a discharge.  If your case was discharged, no creditors should be contacting you regarding any debts that were included in your bankruptcy.

Whether you can refile another bankruptcy case depends on why and how your previous case was dismissed and your current situation.  You should consult with your attorney to determine if you are eligible to refile.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.

Last modified: September 19, 2009