Bankruptcy Lawyer in Portland, Oregon

A meaningful beginning and a chance for rebuilding, anyone who has filed a bankruptcy case is looking forward to experiencing this at the end of the journey. The much-awaited discharge decision and debt-free life in waiting provide a positive outlook for anyone who once experienced being at their lowermost financially.  

But what if instead of a discharge notice, you received a motion to dismiss? Won’t you feel like your world is crumbling down again? All the high hopes and new start promises of bankruptcy are suddenly gone. And you start thinking if you’ll receive all those tiring and stressful creditor calls again. 

The good news is, that the motion to dismiss is not final nor fatal in your bankruptcy case unless you failed to act on it. There are options and different approaches you can take. And to help you identify the best suitable solution for your needs, you need to consult with a credible bankruptcy attorney in Oregon. Save yourself from those endless worries. Give us a call and let’s discuss your well-deserved future. 

Why do I need a Bankruptcy Attorney in Portland, Oregon?

Your fresh start is just around the corner but you suddenly received a Chapter 13 bankruptcy motion to dismiss. How do you respond? When do you respond? What is this motion to dismiss? Why are they dismissing your bankruptcy petition? 

The bankruptcy filing does not end with just submitting all the necessary documents. It also does not guarantee that your case will be approved right away. Possibilities of receiving a motion to dismiss can not be avoided. How you will respond will determine the results of your petition. And assistance from a proven reliable and effective bankruptcy lawyer in Oregon will spell the difference for you. 

Our lawyers in Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm have years of experience under their belt, successfully helping thousands of clients get debt relief. Their core expertise is in bankruptcy and you can be assured that they understand every client’s unique circumstances. They provide well-suited solutions to every client after a thorough evaluation of their needs. And they all work towards one goal, to help our clients get the fresh start they deserve. 

Speak to us now and we’ll help you get your financial health back on track! 

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Motion to Dismiss?

bankruptcy lawyer oregonIf you have filed a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to arrange a three to five-year reorganization or repayment plan in exchange for being debt-free and achieving financial freedom. It aims to restructure your debt to enable you to partially or fully pay back your creditors. Your repayment plan should be achievable. The monthly payments you will be making should be in accordance with your income. But what happens when you are unable to pay your creditors on time? 

If you fall behind your payment plan, the trustee or one of your creditors can file a motion to dismiss your Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you don’t want your case to be dismissed, you must take immediate action by objecting to the motion to dismiss. You will be needing legal advice from a reliable and experienced bankruptcy attorney in Oregon to save your case.

Why Do Chapter 13 Cases Get Dismissed?

The following are the reasons why trustees or creditors file for a motion to dismiss:

  • Failure to attend the meeting of creditors 
  • Failure to pay the bankruptcy court filing fee 
  • Failure to submit all the documentation needed in the bankruptcy petition
  • Failure to comply with the Chapter 13 repayment plan 
  • Failure to meet deadlines 
  • Failure to propose Chapter 13 payment plan in compliance with the bankruptcy law 
  • Failure to submit documents required by the trustee 
  • Failure to file tax returns yearly and submitting a copy to bankruptcy trustee 

Dismissal of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually caused by your inability as a debtor to comply with your responsibilities as required by the bankruptcy rules. There are also cases where a petition can be dismissed because of reasons beyond your control like losing a job or being ill and incapacitated. 

How to Object to Chapter 13 Motion to Dismiss?

If you received a motion to dismiss your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, read the motion carefully. The trustee will include in the motion the reason why your case is up for dismissal. It will also include details on when you must file your response. You are required to submit a reply within 21 days after the motion to dismiss was served. You have to make sure to consult your Oregon-based bankruptcy attorney to help you respond and request a hearing.

In your response, you should also provide an explanation of why your case should not be dismissed by the bankruptcy court. If unprecedented circumstances affect your repayment plan schedule, provide concrete evidence. If there had been delays in your paycheck or some issues with check issuances or any other valid reasons that prevented your timely payment, let the court or trustee know.

On the other hand, if you missed your repayment schedule and the trustee is correct, you can still express your intention to proceed with Chapter 13 by giving solutions on how you intend to fix the issue. If you are able to convince the court that your reasons are justifiable and you can fulfill your repayment commitments, they will work with you and give you ample time to catch up with your missed payments. However, if the court deemed you are not capable of catching up on your payments and continuing the reorganizational plan, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will be dismissed. 

A response to the motion to dismiss is necessary and must be done in a hurry. If you fail to submit a response within the given timeframe, the motion will be granted without a hearing. Granting the motion would mean dismissing your bankruptcy case without discharging you with all your debt. You wouldn’t want that, right?

What If I Can No Longer Afford My Chapter 13  Repayment Plan?

If you are no longer capable of paying your creditors in accordance with your repayment plan, there are other approaches you can consider. Insights from a trusted and capable bankruptcy lawyer in Oregon can help you identify the approach that would best suit your needs. Here are the other approaches you can consult with your Oregon attorney according to the bankruptcy law. 

Modify Your Repayment Plan

Life will always remain unpredictable so are your finances. It is possible to be financially capable when working on your repayment plan for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the beginning and then suddenly face challenges after a year or two. 

Modifications in your reorganizational plan can be done by filing a motion in the court. You need to explain to the court and trustee why you need to amend your plans and you also have to provide proof that would support your motion. Included in your motion would also be the new amount of payment that you can afford. 

What changed in your current circumstances? Were you laid off? Did you get a demotion? Were you diagnosed with a life-changing disease? Did you meet an accident that left you with a physical disability? If the court finds your reason justifiable, a new repayment plan will be created. 

Ask For A Hardship Discharge

Hardship discharge is a discharge that the Oregon bankruptcy court can grant you before you are able to complete all of the required payments in your repayment plan under your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. For instance, if you lost your job or become incapacitated, or for any compelling reason you can no longer fulfill your commitment to repay your creditors, you can ask the court to dismiss your case early. 

You need to file a motion to the bankruptcy court before you’ll be granted a hardship discharge. There are also three conditions to need to satisfy in order to receive a favorable court order. 

  • Modification of your Chapter 13 repayment plan is not feasible – if your repayment plan is not working and paying your creditors in accordance with the plan is not attainable, modifying your payment plan is another key. But there are times even repayment plan modification is not achievable. 

The court recognizes the possibility that your circumstances might change after setting your payment plans. That is why modification is always an option being suggested. The court could reduce the payment amount towards your non priority debt and could extend your plan to ease the burden. But if even lowering your payment dues wouldn’t help you complete your plan, then the court can consider a hardship discharge. 

You need to show the court and provide evidence that even a modified plan, with all possible adjustments, would still not work for you. 

  • Circumstances are beyond your control – you need to be able to establish that your current unavoidable situation makes you unable to continue paying your repayment plan. Moreover, it should be something that is not self-inflicted. A temporary loss of a job or income reduction is not enough to prove an inability to pay. A minor accident or simple illness or disease will not suffice as well. 

You need to establish permanent incapacity to work due to an accident or severe medical condition that arose after your bankruptcy filing. Loss of income or reduction of your income should be due to something fatal to be considered. 

  • Unsecured creditors received adequate payment – if you have already paid your unsecured creditors’ considerable amount they would have received had you opted for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court can grant you a hardship discharge. 

Having little to no nonexempt assets and properties would make it easy to satisfy this condition but if you have a considerable amount of nonexempt properties in your repayment plan, it might be challenging to qualify for a hardship discharge. 

A hardship discharge will eliminate the majority of your unsecured debts but you will still likely retain liabilities for other claims such as

  • Debts you did not list in your bankruptcy paperwork 
  • Secured debts including all past due payments 
  • Student loans
  • Priority claims 
  • Taxes – federal, state, local including any amounts borrowed in order to pay the tax debt 
  • Alimony, child support, and all debts from divorce or separation
  • Pension or profit-sharing plans loans 
  • Restitution or fines from criminal proceedings 
  • Debts resulting from drunk driving or being under the influence of drugs 

Let the Oregon Bankruptcy Court Dismiss Your Case

After careful evaluation and following consultation with your Portland bankruptcy attorney, you determined it’s best to get out of your Chapter 13 case, you can just let the court dismiss your petition. You don’t have to do anything here. Just wait for the response period on the motion to dismiss to pass and wait for the court decision. This approach should be carefully considered.

Most of the time, the court will dismiss your case without any prejudice and you can immediately file another bankruptcy case again. But if the court determined you have abused the bankruptcy process or if the court thinks you acted in bad faith, your case can be dismissed with prejudice. When this happened, you won’t be able to file a new petition again until the period indicated in the court dismissal order has lapsed. 

After your case dismissal, expect to lose all the bankruptcy protection you have. Your creditors can start their pursuit to collect money from your again. Expect to receive collection letters and phone calls, wage garnishment, attaching bank accounts, debt collection lawsuits, repossession, and foreclosure notices. The only way to get away from these again is to either pay your debt or file a new bankruptcy petition.

How Long Does It Take To Dismiss Chapter 13?

The amount of time needed before a bankruptcy court issues a Chapter 13 dismissal varies from case to case. Bankruptcy cases are unique on their own and no cases are alike. To have an idea and better understanding of how your case is progressing and how long will it take to receive a court decision, consult with one of our Portland bankruptcy attorneys today. 

Refile Your Case

If the Oregon bankruptcy court dismissed your bankruptcy case without prejudice, you can immediately re-file again.  You get another fresh start for a Chapter 13 or if you qualify, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Remember that if you re-file again within a year of the dismissal, your automatic stay protection will expire within 30 days. Your Oregon-based bankruptcy attorney will have to ask the court to extend it for the new case. 

The automatic stay protection prohibits your creditors to continue collecting money from you to pay for your debt. It’s best to always seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer regarding this as there are some exceptions to the automatic stay. Also, creditors can request the court to remove or lift the stay protection. 

Call our Oregon and Washington Bankruptcy Lawyer Now!

Declaring bankruptcy is not easy. Undergoing the process is much harder. But it has to be done if you already reached rock bottom financially because bankruptcy promises a fresh start. You have already experienced countless sleepless nights stressing over your bills, creditor harassment, all the collection calls and emails you receive, and other financial problems you have. It’s time to act now, give yourself financial freedom and a better future. 

At Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and tailor-fit solutions to our clients. We never believe in one size fits all and you can expect our dedicated and compassionate bankruptcy lawyers to get to the bottom of your concerns and provide you with a complete package of services. 

You will never walk this journey alone. So if you need help in getting back on track, experiencing a debt-free life, and receiving an immediate fresh start, talk to us now. Let’s rebuild your future together! 

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