Dismissing a Chapter 13

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Dismissing a Chapter 13

Can I dismiss a Chapter 13 or must it be dismissed though the bankruptcy cout? If a Chapter 13 is dismissed, can I refile a 13 or 7? How long must I wait to refile? Can I convert from a 13 to a 7 after dismissal?

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A Chapter 13 filing can be voluntarily dismissed; the bankruptcy trustee need not do it. 

If it is voluntarily dismissed it can be refiled provided that the previous dismissal occurred no sooner than one year before the time when the second case was filed.  If less than one year's time has lapsed, the second case is (1) subject to dismissal (upon a claim that the second case was an "abusive" filing) and/or (2) the possibility that the court (or the law) will allow dissolution of the so-called "automatic" bankruptcy "stay" (meaning that, notwithstanding the pendency of the second case, certain foreclosure or repossession actions can still be taken against the debtor's property). 

Finally, converting from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 is the right of any debtor; provided however, that eligibility is met.  The only requirements for converting a bankruptcy from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 is that the case has not previously been converted and a means test shows the court that the debtor qualifies to file for Chapter 7. 

This can all get complicated and each step carries consequences.  You really should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to find out the best options for you.


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