What Happens If My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Is Dismissed?

29 Apr What Happens If My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Is Dismissed?

There are a number of very good articles on the Bankruptcy Law Network that discuss, to some extent or another, dismissal of a bankruptcy case.

For example,in “Do I Need A Lawyer To File Bankruptcy?” Dana Wilkinson discussesdismissal as one of the pitfalls of representing yourself, and In “What AreMy Responsibilities After My Bankruptcy Case Is Filed?” Jonathan Ginsbergpoints out the need to take an active role in your bankruptcy in order tominimize the risks of a dismissal.

So, you ask: “What’s the big deal about a dismissal? I’ve heard that if my
bankruptcy is dismissed, I can just file again!”

While it is true that generally speaking, you can refile for bankruptcy, the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code created a potential to seriously limit what is the main advantage of a bankruptcy to a debtor who is refiling for bankruptcy: The Automatic Stay!

  • What is an Automatic Stay?

The Bankruptcy Law Network Glossary of Important Bankruptcy Terms defines an Automatic Stay as: “… an Order [by the Bankruptcy Court] that immediately stays, or stops, all collection actions against you. This means thatforeclosures, garnishments, attachments, lawsuits, collection calls and letters,and even regular monthly bills are stopped.”

Under the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code the automatic stay is limited if a debtor refiles a Chapter 7 case within one year of the dismissal of his previous bankruptcy. For this debtor, the automatic stay now terminates thirty days after the bankruptcy petition is filed, unless the debtor can show that the new bankruptcy was filed in good faith.

Good faith is not defined by the amendments. (However, in a later article I will discuss some of the standards set forth elsewhere as to when someone is in good faith or bad faith).

So how do you avoid having your case dismissed? The easiest way is to use the services of an experience consumer bankruptcy attorney.

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I've been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for nearly 25 years. Since that time I have helped many people resolve their financial problems. I have been practicing law since 1986 and I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Louisiana. Because I am a sole practitioner, you know that your debt matters are being handled by me personally. In addition to my work with consumers, I am also frequently asked to speak at local seminars on bankruptcy law. I am member of the following organizations: • Louisiana Bar Association • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys • Bankruptcy Law Network My office is located at: 3920 General DeGaulle Drive, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504) 368-4101

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