How to Reopen Bankruptcy Case

Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyer Rick MorinThe Bankruptcy Court has discharged and closed your case. Everything is going well. You probably do not want to think about going back to the bankruptcy court. However, in certain situations, you may need to reopen your bankruptcy. Read on to learn more about this procedure.

Why Reopen a Bankruptcy?

For most consumer debtors, the most common reason to reopen a bankruptcy is to enforce the terms of their discharge against a creditor. You can seek sanctions from the creditor by reopening your case with the bankruptcy court. You cannot seek to enforce the terms of your discharge in a state court.

The Bankruptcy Court will occasionally close a case without a discharge. This commonly happens when the debtor does not complete the financial counseling requirements or fails to pay their filing fee installments on time. In order to obtain a discharge, the court will require the debtor to reopen the bankruptcy case and fix the deficiency.

How to Reopen a Bankruptcy Case

Reopening a bankruptcy in Sacramento is surprisingly easy. The Debtor files a “Ex Parte Motion to Reopen” stating the grounds for reopening their bankruptcy case. There may be a filing fee depending on the reason for reopening.

The Bankruptcy Court does not charge a filing fee if the debtor is reopening their case to enforce their discharge. The Court charges a reopening $260 fee if the debtor forgot to file paperwork before their case was closed.

Here in the Eastern District of California, the Court will reopen the bankruptcy case and provide a time limit for the debtor to complete whatever task they set out in their reopening motion. If nothing happens by that deadline, the Court will close the case automatically.

My office represents debtors in bankruptcy proceedings in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Please call my office at (916) 333-2222 if you are seeking bankruptcy representation in Northern California.