When you file bankruptcy, the goal is to wipe out your debt so that you can get back on your feet. As long as everything goes well, you’ll receive a discharge prohibiting creditors from collecting qualifying debts. But, there are times when your case can also be dismissed, which means you didn’t meet the requirements or you changed your mind and decided not to go through with the process. In the case of a dismissal, your case is closed. 

Let’s learn more about what a bankruptcy dismissal is and how it can impact your bankruptcy filing

Understanding Bankruptcy Dismissal

If you’re dealing with a bankruptcy case, knowing what dismissal means is crucial. When your bankruptcy case gets dismissed, it’s like the court hit an undo button on your filing. Suddenly, those credit card bills and mortgage payments are back in play.

The Role of a Bankruptcy Trustee in Dismissal Cases

A bankruptcy trustee has a big role here. Think of them as the gatekeeper between you and debt relief. They look at your petition under a microscope to ensure all ducks are in row—forms filled out correctly, payment plan viable etcetera.

If something smells fishy or if required documents aren’t submitted timely (Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 both have deadlines), they can motion for dismissal of the case.

Consequences of Bankruptcy Dismissal

Now let’s talk consequences. Once your bankruptcy is dismissed by court order or voluntarily (yes, that’s possible), automatic stay lifts up like curtains after a bad theatre show – exposing you once again to creditors’ demands. Say hello again to collection calls from creditors. 

This doesn’t mean end-of-the-world though but definitely adds more spice than necessary. 

Reasons for Bankruptcy Dismissal

The path to bankruptcy relief isn’t always smooth. Let’s learn more about voluntary vs involuntary dismissal and why they happen. 

Voluntary vs Involuntary Dismissals

If you’ve ever thought about pulling the plug on your own case, then you’re not alone. Some filers decide to voluntarily dismiss their bankruptcy case due to changes in their financial situation or a change of heart.

In contrast, involuntary dismissals are often triggered by failure to meet obligations such as non-payment of fees or court orders. Notably, these reasons aren’t just common—they account for most dismissal cases.

Filing forms late is like showing up after halftime at a basketball game—you miss out on vital parts and there might be consequences.

Fees also play an important role in keeping your case alive; consider them the oxygen tank during a deep-sea diving adventure—without it, survival becomes tough. Additionally, failing to comply with court orders can have severe repercussions—it’s akin to disregarding traffic lights while driving.

A more serious reason that leads down this road is abuse of the system which results in dismissal with prejudice – essentially being blacklisted from refiling for a certain period of time. It’s similar to getting expelled from school because rules were repeatedly broken.

Bankruptcy dismissal can feel like a speed bump on the road to debt relief. But with some savvy moves, you might avoid this setback altogether. 

How to Avoid Bankruptcy Dismissal

The first step in preventing bankruptcy dismissal is meeting your obligations head-on. For instance, filing forms on time and paying court-ordered fees promptly show good faith effort towards resolving debts.

You should also strive to meet any deadlines set by the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Missing these could make it more likely for your case to be dismissed, particularly with Chapter 13 cases, since they have a higher likelihood of being tossed due to their longer repayment period.

Seeking Legal Advice for Bankruptcy Dismissal

If you’re already facing potential case dismissal, don’t panic. It’s not over until it’s over – even dismissed cases can be refiled. But there may be restrictions depending on why they were thrown out in the first place.

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer is an invaluable ally during such times. They understand how courts operate and know exactly what needs doing when things start looking bleak. A good attorney will guide you through complex terms like ‘voluntary dismissals’ or ‘involuntary dismissals’, making sure that nothing gets lost in translation between legalese and everyday English.

TIP:Your fight against financial hardship doesn’t need ending at ‘dismissed’. There are ways around this hurdle – knowledge is power here. Don’t shy away from seeking professional help if you’re stuck. The path to debt relief is rarely straight, but with the right guidance, it’s definitely navigable.


Bankruptcy dismissed. Those words can feel like a storm cloud looming over your financial future. Remember, you have the support of others in this battle.

You’ve learned about the role of a bankruptcy trustee and how their motions can influence your case outcome. You now understand that meeting court deadlines is crucial to avoid dismissal.

Remember: involuntary dismissals are often due to missed obligations or abuse of the system, but there’s also such thing as voluntary dismissal. It’s all part of navigating through these choppy waters.

The Law Office of William Waldner offers free consultations. Schedule yours today and let’s discuss your current financial situation and if filing bankruptcy is right for you.