I need to request dismissal of Ch 7 so I can refile. My lawyer refuses to talk to me. What can I do?

I can not get my lawyer to answer my calls to request dismissal of ch 7 bk before hearing date. A debt occurred unexpected and can be included if this case is dismissed and then refiled. the lawyer refuses to return calls, letters, or discuss action plan. Hearing is in 6 wks – what can i do.

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are requesting that your lawyer apply for a voluntary dismissal of the bankruptcy to allow you to refile and add a debt.  Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy is designed for individuals, married couples and small business owners wishing to make a fresh start, but who are substantially unable to pay debts from current income.   An individual may not file a Chapter 7 case if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to his or her failure to appear or comply with court orders, or if the debtor requested and obtained a voluntary dismissal of the case following the filing of a request for automatic bankruptcy stay relief by a creditor or party-in-interest. 

A Chapter 7 debtor has no "right" to dismiss their bankruptcy. Once you file for Chapter 7 liquidation the Trustee, on behalf of your creditors, has an interest in your assets, and the Trustee or creditors can object to your dismissal. However, dismissal can be granted by the Court if it will not hurt your creditors.

If your attorney will not return your call go down to the court where the petition was filed and speak with a clerk.  Let them know what you would like to do.  If they tell you that you need your lawyer explain the situation and see what they say.  They may tell you to get new counsel to help you instead or they may let you make the application pro se.  But you should seek new help to really know what your options are and the pros and cons of dismissal. 


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