I need to Dismiss my Chapter 13 Case.
Not a problem. Bankruptcy Code 1307 (b) allows you to dismiss your case at any time after it was confirmed. Confirmation means that the trustee has approved your plan or any modifications and the court has "confirmed" the terms of your plan and have dealt with any creditor objections. After confirmation, you have an absolute right to dismiss your chapter 13 plan or case. I have seen this in my practice on a number or occasions. Why would someone (called debtor in bankruptcy context) want to dismiss their case? Maybe the payments are too much to handle. Maybe you have lost your job or had a significant reduction in pay or work hours. Or maybe you filed bankruptcy to get up to date on mortgage payments, car payment or back taxes and now that your current, you want to deal with your unsecured creditors in a different fashion. Such as debt consolidation, settlement or some other method.
If your payment is too much because of a legitimate reason (such as loss of job, reduction in hours or medical condition), you first want to look at a plan modification instead of outright dismissal. A plan modification will address your current situation and likely lower the payment and/or the term of the plan. In many cases, a plan modification will "forgive" missed payments. Bankruptcy Code 1329 deals with modification of your plan. If this is not possible, then the second option is to convert to a chapter 7. Remember you have to be "eligible" for a chapter 7 and that includes looking at the means test for your state and family size. If you do qualify, then a motion to convert your case from a chapter 13 to a chapter 7 is possible and advisable in most cases.
However, if conversion or modification is not feasible or possible then you would dismiss your case under 1307 of the bankruptcy code if your case was not previously converted from a chapter 7. I have debtor's that have filed chapter 13 because they were not eligible for a chapter 7 because they previously filed a chapter 7 within the past 8 years or filed to stop a foreclosure and now the mortgage arrears are current and they do not want to be in bankruptcy any longer.
Remember, you have an absolute right to dismiss your chapter 13 case. So, if you can not modify or convert your case then dismissal may be the best option.
/s/ Mark Lewis, Esq.