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Ask Dave

Can You "Un-File" Bankruptcy?

Hopefully, it's not too late for Ben to work through his financial problems without Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

QUESTION: Ben was in the hospital for 3 months and came out with $20,000 in debt, including credit cards. He filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and gave his bankruptcy attorney $1,400. He was laid off yesterday and wonders if he can stop the bankruptcy. Dave fills him in, and also tells him not to get ahead of himself on his debt.

ANSWER: You can’t unfile a bankruptcy. If he has actually opened the file with your name on it in bankruptcy court, and a case number is instantly assigned to it when that happens, then you have filed bankruptcy. You can’t stop or undo that.

Within 30 days of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a meeting of creditors, and it usually takes about 90 days from the date of filing to get your discharge. I would ask him if you’ve actually filed. In the meantime, find what you love to do so you can create an income. If he hasn’t filed and you go get a good job, you ought to be able to work through this. Your credit is already trashed, but it’s not as trashed as filing bankruptcy.