What Happens If Your Bankruptcy Case Is Dismissed Without Prejudice?

There are many reasons bankruptcy trustees dismiss cases that come across their desks, and there are two main ways they can dismiss these cases. The first is with prejudice, which is never a good thing, and the other way is without prejudice. If you filed for bankruptcy and received a letter stating that the trustee has dismissed your case without prejudice, here are the main things you will want and need to know.

What this means

When a case is dismissed for any reason, it means the trustee has thrown the case out. This closes the case and nothing further will happen with it. When trustees dismiss cases without prejudice, it generally happens when there is some type of problem with the case. It's important to realize that cases are not dismissed without prejudice if the problem was due to something illegal or fraudulent.  

Why this happened

The letter you get that states the case was dismissed is likely to tell you a reason why this happened, and there are quite a few different reasons. One of the most common reasons is a failure on your part to fill out and submit all the necessary forms. Trustees handle a lot of cases, and they do not have time to keep requesting documents, forms, and paperwork. If they request something and you fail to provide it, they will just throw the case out so they do not waste their time on it.

The trustee may also have dismissed your case if you failed to show up to a scheduled hearing or if you have not taken the required credit counseling courses.

What you can do next

One other reason a trustee will dismiss a case is if the person is not eligible for bankruptcy. If this was the reason your case was dismissed, you will not benefit from filing for bankruptcy again. If you are not eligible, there is no point in filing unless you qualify for a different branch of bankruptcy.

If your bankruptcy was dismissed without prejudice for most other reasons, you will have the right to file again, and you can do so immediately. If this happens, you should make sure you handle every step the proper way to avoid having your case dismissed again.

If you are not sure what went wrong in your case, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. If you try handling bankruptcy on your own, there is a greater chance the case will be dismissed. Filing with a lawyer is always the better route to take. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Granowitz, White & Weber Attorneys at Law.