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Refiling Chapter 7 Petition after dismissal.

Cranford, NJ |

I received a discharge in Dec 2004. In Oct 2012, I filed my Chapter 7 petition only to find out I filed 2 months shy of the 8yr waiting period (repeat filing) and it was in eligible to file. I had a bankruptcy preparation company prepare my forms and I filed myself., however they didnt inform me of the 8yr waiting period. Therefore I didnt attend the Creditor Mtg as I assumed I was ineligible. I just received an Order Dismissing Debtors Petition/Vacating Discharge. My question is, can I re-file my petition immediately now or do I have a waiting period of 180 days? Also, if I can re-file now then do I need to have the automatic stay reinstated? Please help, I can't afford an attorney and did this myself and need an answer ASAP.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Several issues are raised. One, because you chose to use a paperwork service, you chose to get no legal advice at all. In fact, they are prohibited by law from giving you advice. Therefore, you did not even make it into the case (and you could have expected many more problems even if you made it past that point). Second, you received an order of dismissal and we don't have it to review. Since you raised the issue of 180 days, the order may have barred you from filing. You might clarify that in a comment. Finally, there are ramifications for filing more than one case in a year. You need to see a bankruptcy lawyer. Hopefully, you have seen the problems that arise when you do not.

  2. As Mr. Riddle pointed out, it is impossible to properly advise you without seeing the dismissal order. You question requires personal attention by a local bankruptcy attorney.

    First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

  3. You say "I can't afford an attorney" but you have already learned how costly and damaging proceeding without legal assistance can be. "Bankruptcy preparation" companies are not to be trusted. All they can do legally is fill out forms. They cannot practice law. This means they assess your eligibility to file, and can't even legally answer your question if you wonder about eligibility. Whether you are not barred for 180 days depends totally on the wording of your dismissal notice. Even if you are eligible to file now, your automatic stay will expire will before your discharge is entered unless immediate action is taken.

    If you haven't already figured this our, let me be uncomfortably candid: the bankruptcy process has changed dramatically since your 2004 case. It is now a complicated minefield of potentially irrevocable self-inflicted injury. Your needs will not be properly met until you find a way to retain legal assistance.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

  4. It is hard to answer this question without the order. Depending on what the order says you may need to wait the 180 days. I hate to tell you, but you need to hire an attorney to advise you. Filing pro se and using petition preparers is a near sure-fire way to cause yourself more harm than good at this point.

    Please note that I am not admitted to practice outside of the States of New York and New Jersey. Anything stated by me in this forum is for general informational purposes and is not intended to be taken as attempting to practice law in any juridiction in which I am not licensed. Further, the reading of these answers is merely for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship absent the signing of a retainer agreement.

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