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Can my already dismissed chapter 7 BK be reopened?

Saint Louis, MO |

I filed ch because of some rental properties . I have already been dismissed from the ch , but received a notice from one of the banks . there were 2 banks involved . one bank was responsive during the BK , the other ( a larger bank ) was not . the larger bank just sent a " notice of appearance and creditor request for notice " letter . this larger bank WAS listed on the BK , so they cant reopen to be listed , as they were initially on the BK creditor list . should I be worried ? can they reopen my case ?

Attorney Answers 4


Did you mean your case was dismissed (bad) or discharged (good)?

The notice of appearance and request for notice is typically just a formality. But if someone files a Motion to reopen, they need to state a reason and a judge will decide.

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What you are asking makes no sense. Why not check the court records if you are worried that a creditor may not have been listed. The fact that a creditor failed to make an appearance in your case doesn't mean that they weren't properly included in your bankruptcy. The link to the court records website is below - there is a small fee to view court records. Hope this perspective helps!

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I believe you mean that you have received your discharge. That is a good thing. It also appears that both creditors received notice of the bankruptcy, which means they will be discharged as they do not, from inquiry at least, appear to have objected to your discharge. It is common for attorneys for lenders to file a notice of appearance - especially if they were secured by assets of the estate (ie your rental properties). By making this filing the creditor is kept apprized of what is going on the in the case. At this juncture, without any additional information, the filing of the notice appears to be nothing you should worry about.

Also understand, if your bankruptcy case was an asset case, the receipt of a discharge does not "close" the bankruptcy. In a personal bankruptcy asset case there are effectively two paths: 1) the path to discharge; and 2) the path to recovering assets. In your case, again assuming this is an asset case, path 1 is completed. However, path 2 is an ongoing process that will require the sale of assets and the distribution of those proceeds to your creditors. Path 2 can take months or even years to complete depending upon the case. In short, if this is an asset case, your case is still open.

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I am assuming that you filed a Chapter 7 and the bank loaned money for one of the rental properties, and that you surrendered the property.

The goal of consumer bankruptcy is to deliver a fresh start for the debtor. At filing, the creditors must stop any action to collect debt from you. With a Chapter 7, your discharge will come as a matter of course following completion of the meeting of creditors. However, this does not mean the case is closed. If there are non-exempt assets, the trustee may choose to administer the estate, which means that assets will be turned over to the trustee and creditors may file claims to get paid by the proceeds of the assets.

In this scenario, (again, assuming you filed a Chapter 7 and that you are not keeping the property for which the bank loaned money), as long as the bank received notice (as indicated by their filing with the Court), then they will be bound by the discharge unless an objection to discharge had been timely filed, which you do not indicate occurred.

You can only control your actions, not those of the creditor. As long as you have listed your creditors and complied with the request(s) of the trustee, the Court will not likely act favorably to a creditor trying to bully a debtor.

If you have filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and wanted to keep the property secured by the bank, then the analysis would be different in that the creditor would be entitled to payment. If this is the case, then you need to contact your attorney to see what options you have to remedy the situation.

This is intended as general informational material only and is not intended to offer legal advice. You should not rely on or use information presented here without consulting a lawyer regarding your specific circumstances, changes to applicable laws, rules and regulations, and other legal issues. Answers herein do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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