Refiling Chapter 13 Bankruptcy After Dismissal

As I have previously written, Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve many different issues.  Once thing that bankruptcy lawyers point out to all debtors entering Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that the debtor has to make payments to the trustee, prior to the confirmation of the plan, and, of course, after the plan is confirmed.  Sometimes, the debtor is unable to make payments, and, rather than asking his/her bankruptcy attorney to seek modification of the plan, does nothing.  Under those circumstances, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee will move to have the bankruptcy dismissed.  Once the motion to dismiss is granted, and creditors resume collections activities, such as foreclosure, can the debtor refile?

The debtor can refile Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if it has been dismissed, at any time.  However, changes to the Bankruptcy Code that were in Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) can limit the relief that the debtor  receives when he/she refiles.  If the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is refiled within one year of the dismissal, the automatic stay is in effect only for 30 days.  This is a critical difference between a refiled Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the original filing.  It means that within 30 days of the filing, the debtor’s attorney must file a motion in bankruptcy court seeking to extend the automatic stay.  If the motion is not made, or granted by the bankruptcy court, creditors can resume collection activity.

In general, before a motion to dismiss is filed, or granted, the debtor should contact his/her bankruptcy lawyer to discuss all available options, including converting Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or amending the plan.

If you are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.