Can I Dismiss My Bankruptcy Case?


Sometimes, after all the stress, the paperwork, and the gut wrenching that went into making the decision to file for bankruptcy, people will want out.  The reasons vary.  Often there is a change in circumstances making the bankruptcy no longer necessary – or at least no longer the only path for dealing with your debt problem.  Sometimes clients withhold information from me in the preparation of their bankruptcy case and then when it comes out after we have filed (and it always comes out), the consequences for withholding the information are painful and people just want out.

So, that leads to the question, can you voluntarily dismiss your bankruptcy?  Can you change your mind?

It depends.

Voluntarily Dismissing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Once you get in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case it can be difficult to get out.  It is surprising to most people that you don’t have an automatic right to dismiss your case if you decide you don’t want to go forward.  However, if you don’t have assets to be distributed to your creditors, you can still ask the court to dismiss your case and you likely won’t get any type of objection.

However, if you are faced with losing a valuable asset in your chapter 7 case and have decided you don’t really like bankruptcy anymore, it is unlikely the court will allow you to dismiss your bankruptcy case just to avoid losing the asset.

Voluntarily Dismissing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 cases have a different set of rules.  Under the bankruptcy code, in a chapter 13 case you do have the right to dismiss your case at anytime.  There are a few courts out there that have placed some limitations on this, but generally, if you are in a chapter 13 and want out, you can get out.  One of the big benefits of a chapter 13 filing.

So, if you are thinking of filing a chapter 7 it is wise to put a lot of thought into, and most of all, tell your bankruptcy lawyer everything.  Don’t hold back.  It is only when your attorney has all of the needed information that you are going to get sound advice and not run into problems down the road.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© John Skiba, Skiba Law Group, PLC | Attorney Advertising

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