Dismissing a Chapter 13

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2009

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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


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

Answered 13 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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