What Does it Mean if Your Bankruptcy Filing is Dismissed with a Bar?
When you file for bankruptcy, there are specific rules that you need to follow in order to have your debts discharged. Failing to follow the rules or engaging in certain acts of misconduct during bankruptcy can lead the court to dismiss your case, leaving you burdened with debt again. Bankruptcies in California can be dismissed with a bar or without a bar. Dismissal with a bar prevents you from filing another bankruptcy case for a certain period of time. This is typically 180 days, but can be longer, shorter, or until the debtor brings a motion on regular notice supported with admissible evidence to show why things will be different now and it should be allowed to file another bankruptcy case.
When a bankruptcy case is dismissed with a bar, the debtor’s creditors are free to take legal action against the debtor including, but not limited to, foreclosing on the debtor’s real property and instituting and continuing lawsuits and judgment collection proceedings against the debtor.
Reasons for the court to issue a bar to filing another bankruptcy petition include, but are not limited to the following:
- Failing to comply with the requirements of the United State Trustee
- Multiple bankruptcy filings by the debtor
- False Statement in the debtor’s bankruptcy filings
- Willfully disobeying court orders
- Unreasonable delay by the debtor that is prejudicial to creditors
- Otherwise abusing the bankruptcy system
Bankruptcies can also be dismissed without a bar. Typically, the debtor is allowed to refile right away in order to fix whatever problem led to the dismissal. Common mistakes that lead to dismissal without prejudice include failing to:
- File essential forms
- Submit tax returns or other required documents
- Appear in court or attend hearings
- Complete the required credit counseling class
- Meet deadlines
Petition dismissals, whether with prejudice or without, do not happen suddenly. There will be several communications from the trustee and the court. It is important to seek professional help if you learn you are in danger of having your bankruptcy dismissed for any reason. An experienced lawyer may be able to find a resolution that works for your situation.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger in Beverly Hills have a long history of successfully managing Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Call us at 310-271-6223 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost consultation at one of our convenient office locations.