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Expertise

Filing for Bankruptcy While the Previous One is Unfinished

While chapter 7 is a comparatively shorter process of filing for bankruptcy which finishes in 6 months, chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a much longer procedure, taking 3 – 5 years of time. And a lot of things can happen in such a long time. So, can you file for bankruptcy again if your previous one is unfinished? Our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer is here to answer this question.

Reasons for Bankruptcy Dismissal

There is nothing called partial bankruptcy. The debtor either gets a discharge or gets a file to be dismissed. The followings are the reason why your bankruptcy filing can get dismissed:

  • Missing deadlines
  • Providing inaccurate or fraudulent information in bankruptcy filing paperwork
  • Not completing the credit counseling
  • Hiding assets to protect them from repossession
  • Not attending 341 meetings with the creditors
  • Failing to maintain the chapter 13 payment plan
  • Not filing the forms
  • Not paying the right filing fees
  • Destruction or hiding of your financial records
  • Going against the court order
  • Not showing up at the court

Dismissal of your bankruptcy filing brings you back to square one instead of granting you any bankruptcy protection like automatic stay. However, you can again file for bankruptcy.

Restrictions on Refiling Bankruptcy

Not getting a discharge can offer you some advantages for filing another bankruptcy. If you have got a discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and filing for another one, you need to wait for 8 years between petition dates. For chapter 13, the difference between the two petitions of discharge will be two years. After receiving a discharge on chapter 7, before you file another chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to wait for 8 years. For the reverse case, you will have to wait for four years.

But if your case got dismissed, you will have to wait for 180 days to file for the second time. However, if your case got denied, then you won’t get any discharge while you are filing the same debts again.

Chapter 13 Dismissal and the Effect on Automatic Stay

One factor you need to understand is that when you are refilling your bankruptcy case, it will affect your automatic stay. For refiling, you will only get an automatic stay for 30 days. If you need a longer stay, your Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer can file a motion for extending the stay. For this, the motion has to be filed immediately and the debtor must tell the court about their improved finances that will help them carry on with the repayment plan. Your improved situation might include:

  • Increased salary
  • Additional job
  • Decrease of expenses
  • Contribution from other family members
  • Decrease of total debt

However, if you have already two dismissals of your bankruptcy filing, you will be no longer to automatic stay at all. For a stay, you need to convince the court that the new case is not filed under bad faith. Good faith means that the debtor is genuine, honest and is not using the system of bankruptcy for personal gain. For that, you need to take care of the following:

  • You should have an accurate comprehensive and financially feasible repayment plan
  • You must be consistently compliant with all court orders
  • You must not miss any deadlines
  • You must not engage in any fraudulent activity
Benefits of Chapter 13 Dismissal

In case a couple is filing for a bankruptcy case to delay the foreclosure of their bankruptcy case, till the dismissal of the case, they will get an automatic stay. After the dismissal, if they are able to convince the court for a second time filing to get a longer stay, that will help them get more time to pay the loan of their house.

Often in such cases, the lender can bring a motion for lifting the automatic stay so that the foreclosure can continue for the financial remedies. And if it is granted, then the lender can proceed with the auction. And in a situation like this, as a debtor, if you decide to self dismiss the case with the hope that with the next filing, you will get the automatic stay, then you are wrong. You will have to wait for the next 180 days and by the time, the foreclosure will happen.

Consult our Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer for getting more information about refiling cases and how you can get the stay for your benefits. Come to Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Law Group today.

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