Ever feel like you’re on a sinking ship, debt pulling you under with no life raft in sight? You might have heard whispers of Chapter 13 bankruptcy – the lifeline that could bring relief.

But what if your grasp slips and that lifeline gets dismissed?

This may sound daunting, but hold tight. We’ll dive deep into the world of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, from understanding its basics to managing debts. It’s not just about grabbing onto a lifesaver; it’s learning how to swim again.

We’ll also navigate through choppy waters of bankruptcy dismissals – voluntary or involuntary – and their potential consequences. And yes, we won’t leave you adrift after dismissal; we will explore refiling guidelines based on different scenarios and waiting periods required before reentering those waters.

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often referred to as a wage earner’s plan, lets folks with regular income develop a strategy to repay all or part of their debts. Over three to five years, debtors propose repayment plans to make installments to creditors.

The Basics of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This form of bankruptcy offers immediate protection through an automatic stay that stops most collection actions against you. This is crucial because it can temporarily stop foreclosure proceedings and give you time to fix your financial situation.

You may even be able remove second or third mortgages if the property value has fallen below what’s owed on the first mortgage – a process known as lien stripping.

Debts and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A key benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is its ability to manage different types of debts. Secured debts like car loans can be rescheduled over the life of the Chapter 13 plan – this could lower payments significantly.

But not everything can go away in bankruptcy: certain long-term obligations such as home mortgages are generally unaffected by filing for Chapter 13. And some other kinds of debt aren’t dischargeable at all: think alimony and child support payments, student loans unless undue hardship exists (which is hard-to-prove ground ) and tax liabilities within last three years from date when due).

Bankruptcy dismissals can feel like a maze, but don’t worry. Let us direct you through the complex process.

Types of Bankruptcy Dismissals

There are two main types of bankruptcy dismissals: voluntary and involuntary. A voluntary dismissal, as the name suggests, happens when you decide to exit your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case yourself.

In contrast, an involuntary dismissal is not by choice. It often results from missing payments or failing to meet court requirements in your repayment plan. For instance, if you’ve missed six consecutive monthly payments, the court may involuntarily end your bankruptcy case.

Consequences of Bankruptcy Dismissals

The aftermath of a bankruptcy dismissal depends on its type and how far along you were in the process before it was dismissed.

If dismissed voluntarily early on, there’s less impact – similar to dipping a toe into water versus diving headfirst. But with an involuntary dismissal late in proceedings? Expect more ripples.

An abrupt halt means losing protection against creditors who might start demanding repayments immediately. Worse yet, any debt that could have been discharged under Chapter 13 will still be owed unless another solution is found quickly. This situation highlights why having knowledgeable legal help at hand is so crucial during these challenging times. If faced with such issues remember – always seek advice promptly.

Refiling for Bankruptcy Post-Dismissal

Refiling a Chapter 13 bankruptcy post-dismissal can feel like retaking a test you didn’t pass the first time. But, don’t fret. The process isn’t as daunting as it seems.

Refiling Guidelines Based on Dismissal Type

The rules of refiling vary based on whether your case was dismissed with or without prejudice. A dismissal without prejudice lets you file again right away.

If your case was dismissed with prejudice,, there are more hoops to jump through. This usually happens when the court suspects fraud or willful failure to abide by court orders.

Waiting Periods for Refiling

You’ll need some patience if you’re reeling from a dismissal with prejudice because waiting periods apply before refiling is allowed. For instance, after one such dismissal, the typical wait period is 180 days.

Potential Future Implications of Refiling

Your decision to refile may affect future discharges and here’s why – if your previous Chapter 13 filing was within two years, then discharge won’t be granted in the new case. This restriction encourages sincere efforts at debt repayment rather than serial filings which could exploit the system.


As you can see, there is still hope after a bankruptcy dismissal. However, your situation will depend on different factors, such as how early in your case the dismissal happens and if it’s voluntary or involuntary. To discuss your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in more detail, schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of William Waldner.