Bankruptcy cases can be dismissed by courts for a variety of reasons. The reasons for the dismissal have a direct bearing on the debtor’s prospects for filing a new petition. A dismissal without prejudice allows the debtor to file a new case right away. A dismissal with prejudice generally requires the debtor to wait a specific time period before refiling, and in some cases might prevent the debtor from ever again seeking bankruptcy protection against the debts involved.
A bankruptcy judge can dismiss a case without prejudice if the debtor makes an innocent mistake or oversight. Examples include:
Although you can file a new petition immediately after a dismissal without prejudice, the automatic stay that takes effect will last only 30 days unless the court grants an extension. If you had multiple petitions dismissed within the year prior to the new filing, there will be no automatic stay unless the court grants one based on a motion filed by your bankruptcy attorney.
Bankruptcy judges can dismiss cases with prejudice for more serious misconduct. Common grounds for this type of dismissal are:
A dismissal with prejudice based on abuse of process normally means you must wait 180 days before filing a new petition. If the dismissal is based on fraud or concealing assets, the court may order a longer waiting time. In cases of flagrant misconduct, the court can impose a permanent ban on discharging the debts covered by the original petition.
Jeff Field & Associates, with six offices in the Atlanta, Marietta and Athens, Georgia areas, handles a wide range of bankruptcy and debt relief matters. Feel free to contact us online or call 404-381-1278 for a free initial consultation.
Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.