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My case was dismissed. When can I refile a new case or reopen my case?

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In a Nutshell

As soon as a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the automatic stay ends and collections can resume. You can either reinstate your case or file a new bankruptcy one.

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Updated December 30, 2020

As soon as a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the automatic stay comes to an end and the collections process can resume. If you want to file bankruptcy again, your automatic stay may be shortened or eliminated.

One option is to reinstate the case and see it through to the finish line. More on how to do that here.

If the the court hasn’t barred you from refiling, you can also file a brand new case immediately after a case dismissal. When you refile after a dismissal, your automatic stay can be affected. If you refile within a year after a single case dismissal, your stay will be limited to a 30-day period. If you have had two case dismissals within a year, your case will not have an automatic stay at all.

If the court has barred you from refiling bankruptcy, you will likely have a 180-day waiting period before you can file a new case. Debtors are often barred from filing again right away if they deliberately fail to obey a court request or procedure.

Written By:

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad


Kristin is a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. At Harvard Law, she served as a member of the Harvard Defenders, the Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Harvard Bla... read more about Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

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