Can You Stop a Bankruptcy Claim Anytime After You File?

••• Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mark Warner

When you file for bankruptcy protection, you are requesting that a court grant you debt relief in the form of a discharge of your debts or a repayment plan. Should you change your mind about the bankruptcy, however, you may request that it be dismissed by the court.

Dismissal

An individual may petition for a dismissal of either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy at any time during a bankruptcy proceedings. A Chapter 13 dismissal is the decision of the petitioner. A Chapter 7 dismissal, however, is at the discretion of the court.

Time Frame

A bankruptcy dismissal affects the amount of time you must wait before filing for bankruptcy again. Regardless of whether your dismissal is voluntary or involuntary, the waiting period for filing a second time is 180 days.

Considerations

A voluntary dismissal of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may only be requested on certain grounds. A petitioner may argue that the bankruptcy is not in his best interest, is unfair to another party or could potentially harm the creditor.

Effects

If you withdraw your bankruptcy petition, it does not result in the bankruptcy being removed from your credit report. The public record that you filed for bankruptcy is still valid and can appear on your credit report for up to 10 years.

Warning

When you withdraw your bankruptcy petition, you lose the protection of the bankruptcy court. This can leave you open to lawsuits from your creditors.