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Reasons and Procedures for Reopening a Closed Bankruptcy Case

Even with the help of a seasoned bankruptcy attorney, the process of discharging your debts can seem lengthy. You probably wouldn't be eager to reopen the case, but there are a few circumstances in which you should. You'll need to go through the reopening procedures if something unexpected arises and the court has already entered your discharge or dismissed the case.

Parties Who Can Reopen the Case

You and your lawyer can begin procedures to reopen the case if need be. Any other party with an interest in the case may also take this action, including the bankruptcy trustee and any creditors.

Reasons to Reopen the Case

The bankruptcy court may be receptive to reopening a case if the court determines the debtor is entitled to additional relief, or if the court needs to administer additional assets. Debtors might decide to reopen their own cases after a dismissal. There might be a correctable procedural mistake that can get the bankruptcy back on track. Other possible reasons include:

  • Neglecting to disclose all of the assets
  • Filing a motion to stop a judgment lien
  • Addressing a violation of the discharge
  • Adding a debt that was mistakenly excluded
  • Correcting any mistakes on the paperwork

When a creditor reopens the case, it's usually because the debt owed to that party was not listed in the petition or because the creditor hadn't received the bankruptcy notice.

Procedures for Reopening the Case

Procedural specifics can vary among the different jurisdictions. The general steps to follow include having your lawyer file a motion to reopen the case. In the motion, your counsel will explain the reasons why reopening the case is necessary. A proposed order or a motion to avoid a lien may also need to be filed.

Since 1990, the bankruptcy attorneys of Cutler & Associates, Ltd. have been helping Chicago-area families get relief from overwhelming debt. From your free case review to your discharge and beyond, we'll be by your side every step of the way. Call our office in Aurora at (847) 961-4572.

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