Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

February 25, 2016

A debtor cannot re-file for bankruptcy for 180 days after their previous case was dismissed if the prior case was dismissed due to the debtor’s willful failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court. Additionally a debtor cannot re-file for bankruptcy for 180 days after their previous case was dismissed voluntarily after a secured creditor obtained an order for relief from stay. 11 U.S.C. § 362. In other words if a creditor such as the mortgage or car creditor lifted the stay in the previous case, the Debtor is barred from filing a new case for 180s days if they then chose to dismiss the case themselves. If a case was dismissed for other reason, such as missed plan payments the same restrictions do not usually apply.

Even if a Debtor is able to file a second bankruptcy, if the bankruptcy is filed in the same year as a previous bankruptcy the automatic stay is only valid for 30 days. A motion to extend the stay can be filed, that will extend the stay for the duration of the case, but this must be filed early and will usually need to be expedited to avoid the stay lifting. If there are more the one case with in the last year there is no stay in place, and a motion to impose stay must be filed. Either of these motions will require that the debtor show by a preponderance of the evidence that the new case is filed in good faith and there is a likelihood of success.

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