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

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In a Nutshell

If your bankruptcy case is dismissed, it closes the case without discharging your debts.

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad.  
Updated July 22, 2020

If your bankruptcy case is dismissed, it closes the case without discharging your debts.

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.

If the the court hasn’t barred you from refiling, you can usually refile a bankruptcy petition immediately after a case dismissal.

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.

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.

About the author
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 Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Black Law Stude... read more

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

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