Legal Question in Bankruptcy in Maryland

Dismiss and Reopen Chapter 13?

Hello, I am writing to ask if I should consider having my recently confirmed Chapter 13 dismissed and then reopened so that I may start anew and add a post petition claim. I wish to save my vehcile which has been repossessed after the fact. That is, after I had already listed the financing company as a debtor. I fell behind after the confirmation which resulted in the repo. Can I close the confirmed 13, refile for a new 13 and included the overdue balance in order to stop the sale of the vehicle and have it returned to me? In an event, do you have any suggestions -- barring my now payinng off the full amount now being requested by the finance company (total $6,400 balance is now being requested)-- on how I can save the vehicle? I fell behind due to a personal emergency which has been officially documented (and can be proven through fed. government records, as well). Thank you, M. v.

Thank you,

M. v.

Asked on 5/29/02, 11:05 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Joseph Trevino Law Offices of Joseph A. Trevino

Re: Dismiss and Reopen Chapter 13?

Call me right away. in Md 1800-924-6217. or 301-441-3131. We can certainly help you. Do you have prior counsel of record on the existing petition?

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Answered on 5/30/02, 8:50 am

Lawrence Holzman Holzman Law Firm, LLC

Re: Dismiss and Reopen Chapter 13?

I presume that your automobile company repossessed your vehicle after first filing a motion to lift/modify the stay of bankruptcy. If that is true, then you have a problem with the strategy of dismissing and refiling. Specifically, 11 USC 109(g) bars you from dismissing and refiling for 180 days if there has been a lift-stay motion filed in your case. So, if you dismiss you probably won't be able to re-file in time to save the car.

Might make more sense to buy a new car (which would generally require filing a motion to incur to new credit). there are lenders who will make chapter 13 car loans (though interest rates are high).

You should seek competant bankruptcy advice asap. You may also be able to negotiate with your lender. Also, if you are married and your spouse is a joint debtor on the car loan, and yoru spouse didn't file on your chapter 13, you may be able to simply file a new case in your spouses name.

Sounds like you waited a bit too long -- should have worked a deal when your lender first filed a lift-stay motion; it is common practice to negotiate "consent orders" with lenders who file lift stay motions -- these consent orders permit a person who falls behind to secured creditor during the bankruptcy to catch-up .. but probably too late for that now.

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Answered on 5/30/02, 8:51 am

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