Three Bankruptcy Filings in 12 Months Equals No Automatic Stay

29 Jan Three Bankruptcy Filings in 12 Months Equals No Automatic Stay

Three bankruptcy filings in 12 months seems a bit much, yes? But it happens. Perhaps there was carelessness by the filer or an attorney, or perhaps there was misplaced hope that a Chapter 13 case could succeed but then a sudden loss of income occurred.

There is no automatic stay, which means no automatic protection, against any creditor if two or more cases were pending during the 12 months before the filing of the last case and those other cases were dismissed. To get that protection, one needs a special court order issued after a hearing. Be sure to ask for an emergency hearing if the foreclosing auctioneer is at your door!

Grounds include the negligence of debtor’s attorney, a substantial change of circumstances, or any other reason which convinces the judge that this last case will succeed. 11 U.S.C. 362 (c)(4).

The count of previously pending cases does not include a case dismissed and refiled because of a means test result or because of an other finding of abuse.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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