Featured News 2018 When Can I Refile for Bankruptcy?

When Can I Refile for Bankruptcy?

After a dismissed case, refiling for bankruptcy can be a challenging task; despite this, achieving a successful declaration of bankruptcy may be the only viable option you have left. However, before you refile for bankruptcy, you should check these details to see if you are eligible.

Determining How Your Case Was Dismissed

Filing for bankruptcy does not guarantee that the declaration will be successful. In fact, there are a number of reasons why someone's declaration may fall through. In some circumstances, judges are allowed to dismiss cases where the claimant acted negligently since bankruptcy is a system meant to help the declarer. If the claimant disgraces the process by not taking it seriously, the court has the right to dismiss their case and penalize the filer for wasting the court's time. However, if a judge previously dismissed your case by due to your actions, they may not have punished you with a waiting period for refiling. Therefore, talking to a bankruptcy lawyer can be the first step.

In other situations, a claimant may choose to dismiss their own case. There are a variety of reasons why someone may dismiss their own case—and, typically, there is no penalty against refiling. However, there is a specific circumstance of self-dismissal that will commonly end in penalization: if the debtor dismisses the case after one of his lenders files a motion of relief from the automatic stay.

An automatic stay is a perk of bankruptcy where the claimant has his nondischargeable debts "held off." This means the claimant has an extended period where he is absolved from repaying his debts that are not forgiven by claiming bankruptcy. When a debtor files for bankruptcy and receives an automatic stay, the affected lenders—the people who the debtor owes money to—lose their legal right to hold the debtor accountable to his debts for some time.

Nevertheless, lenders can file a motion of relief from the automatic stay. A motion of relief is a lender's way to tell the court that the claimant should have to pay back his or her debt as scheduled despite the debtor's automatic stay status. If the motion is successful, the debtor will be forced to pay his debt to the lender as planned and still has to declare bankruptcy. To avoid having to file for bankruptcy while simultaneously paying back debts, the claimant may choose to dismiss their own case.

Claiming Bankruptcy After a Dismissed Case

In some circumstances, you can file for bankruptcy again immediately after a dismissed case. In others, the court may bar you from filing ever again. Ultimately, the court has the final say about who can refile for bankruptcy and how much time must pass before a previous claimant can refile. There are three situations where a claimant can be penalized to wait half of a year (180-days) to refile.

These situations include the following:

  • Not showing up to court
  • Not following court-mandated instructions
  • Self-dismissal of a case after lender files a motion of relief

While each of these scenarios can trigger a 180-day bar from refiling for bankruptcy, judges are not guaranteed to force this ban. Therefore, it is always important to check the status of your dismissal as you may be able to reapply.

Why You Should Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is an intricate process, and refiling for bankruptcy can be hard on both you and your family. There is typically a good reason why your case was dismissed the first time, and it is essential to understand the reasons before you file again. If you are unsure why your first case was dismissed, or are unsure if you should file again, contacting a bankruptcy lawyer can clear up any questions or hesitations you may have. Bankruptcy can be the right choice, but obtaining professional bankruptcy council may be the first step to making that decision a reality.

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