One of the assumptions that some bankruptcy filers make is that their cases will automatically be accepted by the court. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. If your case was dismissed without prejudice, you should understand the reason why and what you can do to possibly have your case reopened.

What Does Dismissed Without Prejudice Mean?

When a bankruptcy filing is dismissed and it is without prejudice, it means that you have the option of refiling again. In some instances, the judge might set a number of days you have to wait to file. If he or she did, once that time has passed, you can file your bankruptcy again.

Why Was Your Case Dismissed?

There are a number of reasons for a bankruptcy case to be dismissed. For instance, the judge might dismiss it if you have not submitted all of the requested documentation needed to make a determination in your case. Other reasons can include:

  • Missed hearing. You might have to attend several hearings during the bankruptcy process. If you miss a hearing and do not reschedule it, your case will be dismissed.
  • Filed incorrectly. In order to file for a particular chapter of bankruptcy, you have to meet certain requirements. Your case will be dismissed if you are ineligible to file the chapter you have chosen.
  • Failed to pay fees. There are several fees associated with filing for bankruptcy. Without the fees paid, your case cannot proceed.

There are also possible reasons for a dismissal, including not completing your required debt education class. When the dismissal occurs, you will be provided with the reason why it happened.

What Can You Do?

If the dismissal was without prejudice, you more than likely can take action to resolve the issue that led to it and refile. For instance, the dismissal occurred because you did not submit all of the requested documentation, refile and ensure the trustee has all the paperwork needed. 

It is important to note that the automatic stay you were previously granted in your first filing could be reduced with the second filing. The stay helps to protect you from legal action from creditors. Without the stay in place, your creditors could try to go after your assets. Fortunately, your attorney can file a motion to ask the court to extend the shortened stay to allow you time to settle your bankruptcy filing.

Even though a dismissal can cause panic, it is important you stay calm. Your attorney can help you resolve the issue that led to the dismissal so you can move forward in the process. To find out more, contact someone like Attorney John A McLaughlin Jr PC.