Uh oh! Who is trying to dismiss my case?
Case dismissal motions can come from any interested party in the bankruptcy. This could be a creditor, the trustee, the US Trustee’s office, or even from the judge himself or herself, although this is generally a rare event.
What does a case dismissal motion? Well, let’s start with what a motion is.
A motion is a request of the court to do something. You must ‘move’ the court to ‘take’ action. In this situation, someone is saying to the court: “The Debtor is doing something wrong, and it must be addressed and fixed, or the Debtor should not be allowed to continue his or her Chapter 13 case.” This is typically done with a written filing, although oral motions can occur.
What are some common reasons to dismiss a bankruptcy?
1. Failure to fully pay the court’s filing fee
2. Failure to pay the monthly trustee fee
3. Failure to comply with the requirements of the plan
4. Failure to timely file tax returns
5. Failure to turn over property to the court that you must tur over
6. Failure to attend the 341(a) meeting of creditors
There are many other factual situations that can results in motion to dismiss. But sometimes dismissal is too extreme a request, and a creditor may just want the right to pursue its property. This occurs in a real estate scenario where, in the Chapter 13 plan, you agree to pay the mortgage, but you then miss future monthly payments (for any reason). The mortgage company will want ‘relief’ from the bankruptcy code in order to repossess the collateral or foreclose on the house.
This is done with a motion for relief from stay which essentially asks of the court: “The Debtor is not following the rules, so please relieve me from the bankruptcy court’s authority so I can get my property back.”
What can you do if you are subject to such a motion?