Yes, it can be possible to file a Motion to Reinstate a bankruptcy case after it is dismissed, under Rules 59 and 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Letitia Paul ruled so on May 10, 2013 in the case of In re Wathen, Case No. 12-35920, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

However, not all bankruptcy judges will reinstate cases that have been dismissed. In our experience, motions to reinstate can be filed and should be filed when the facts are right, and the judge is receptive to such a motion.

But for many of our clients, they cannot wait the 30 days or so for a judge to consider a motion to reinstate. If their chapter 13 bankruptcy is dismissed for that length of time, a car or truck finance company may repossess their vehicle, or some other bad thing could happen to them.

It can be quicker and easier to simply file a new bankrupcy case, so that the client has the immediate protection of the automatic stay.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization