Why Your Bankruptcy Case Might Be Dismissed and 3 Things You Can Do to Avoid This

Bankruptcy DismissedDon’t Have Your Bankruptcy Dismissed

Bankruptcy results in either discharge of debts or dismissal. In Chapter 7 discharge occurs within a few months. In Chapter 13, some debts are discharged after three to five years of payments. Organization and discharge of debt is always the goal when someone files for bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, if things don’t go as planned, bankruptcy cases can be dismissed. Dismissal is a risk if you fail to fulfill your obligations when filing for bankruptcy. If your paperwork includes a mistake or you intentionally leave out or misrepresent information, your case will be dismissed. In some cases, you might even face accusations of fraud.

To avoid dismissal of your case, you need to:

  • Submit completed and accurate schedules
  • Attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors
  • Participate in the required education courses
  • Permit liquidation of your assets (if filing for Chapter 7) or…
  • Complete your Chapter 13 repayment plan

Assuming you meet all of these obligations, the court will discharge your remaining qualifying debt and you’ll get a fresh financial start. Fail to do one or more of these things and you risk dismissal of your case.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk for Having Your Bankruptcy Dismissed?

1. File Complete and Accurate Schedules

People filing for bankruptcy need to submit schedules and statements that provide the court information about the filer’s financial status. Mistakes or omissions in this paperwork is one of the most common reasons for case dismissal. The court gives filers about 14 days to complete their paperwork once they begin the filing process. Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney ensures your paperwork is correct, complete, and submitted on time.

2. Meet the Requirements for Bankruptcy Education

To qualify for bankruptcy debt discharge, you must meet certain education requirements. The first comes early in the process and helps you confirm that filing is right for you. A second education requirement you must meet later details helps you learn to manage your finances and understand what to do once your bankruptcy is complete.

Failing to meet either of these requirements or failing to provide proof that you met them makes you ineligible for debt discharge. Your lawyer will help you find courses that are approved by the bankruptcy court.

3. Attend the Meeting of Creditors

For many people, the 341 Meeting of Creditors is the most intimidating part of filing for bankruptcy. No matter how you feel about it and how concerned you are about coming face-to-face with your creditors, you must attend the meeting.

The good news is that, for most people, this meeting is a lot better than expected.

The goal of the meeting is to confirm the information you submitted in your bankruptcy paperwork. As long as your paperwork is correct and complete, there’s no reason to worry about the 341 Meeting.

Check out this information to learn more about the 341 Meeting of Creditors.

Guidance from an Attorney Helps You Achieve Bankruptcy Discharge

In addition to these three common issues, your case can also be dismissed if your Chapter 13 repayment plan is unfeasible. It’s also a possibility you fail to meet your payment obligations once the plan is underway. If you have any issue meeting Chapter 13 obligations, make sure you contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately. It’s possible to alter Chapter 13 cases if circumstances in your life change. However, you must take action and not just assume the court will understand.

You’ll lose bankruptcy protections if your case is dismissed. This means collections activities, including foreclosure, repossession, and lawsuits, can move forward. There might be additional consequences, as well, and there can be long-term consequences.

Working with an attorney is the best way to reduce your risk for case dismissal. You still need to be honest and upfront about your financial situation, but an attorney helps you avoid mistakes and ensures your paperwork is completed.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss reducing your risk for bankruptcy case dismissal, contact R. Flay Cabiness, II, P.C. at (912) 554-3774 (Brunswick, GA); (912) 375-5620 (Hazlehurst, GA) or; (912)-554-3756 (Jesup, GA) to schedule a consultation.

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Brunswick, GA 31520
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Hazlehurst, GA 31539
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Jesup, GA 31545
Tel: (912) 554-3756 | 888.280.1437

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