Bankruptcy Case Dismissed
There are two possible outcomes for those filing for bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the result of bankruptcy is either debt discharge or having your bankruptcy case dismissed. The former is the goal, the latter is a risk of things not working out as expected.
To achieve discharge and avoid having your case dismissed, you need to:
- Submit completed and accurate information to the court
- Attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors
- Participate in bankruptcy education courses
- Allow a trustee to liquidate your assets (if filing for Chapter 7)
- Various other tasks
- Complete repayment plan (if filing for Chapter 13)
Once all requirements are complete, the court discharges your remaining qualifying debt. Failing to meet any bankruptcy requirements can result in your case being dismissed.
What are the Reasons for Bankruptcy Dismissal?
1. You Filed Incomplete or Inaccurate Paperwork
Bankruptcy schedules and statements and all of the other paperwork is the majority of the work you’ll need to do to file. It’s also one of the most common reasons for case dismissal. If there are any mistakes or any forms are incomplete, the court can throw out your bankruptcy case.
Most people filing for bankruptcy have 14 days or less to complete their paperwork and turn it into the bankruptcy court. This might seem like enough time to handle paperwork, but the process can be confusing. You’ll need to submit information about your income, expenses, debts, assets, and more. To avoid making a mistake or missing a deadline with bankruptcy paperwork, it’s important to work with a bankruptcy attorney.
2. Missing the 341 Meeting of Creditors
The 341 Meeting is the part of bankruptcy that most people filing find most intimidating. But regardless of how much you don’t want to attend the meeting, you must or risk having your bankruptcy case dismissed. And in most cases, it’s going to be a lot better than you anticipate.
The primary purpose of the meeting is to confirm the information in your paperwork. There’s no reason to worry as long as you provide correct information. Working with a bankruptcy attorney also means someone will attend the meeting with you, so there’s no concern about what to say or whether you’ll be taken advantage of in the situation. Your lawyer will look out for you and ensure the meeting runs as smoothly as possible.
You can learn more about the 341 Meeting of Creditors here.
3. Not Meeting the Bankruptcy Education Requirements
Those who file for bankruptcy must meet certain education requirements or risk having their bankruptcy case dismissed. The first occurs just before you file and helps you decide if bankruptcy is right for you. The second is required to receive a discharge of your debts. It helps those who have filed learn to manage their money better and understand what they need to do once their bankruptcy is complete.
If you fail to meet these requirements, you won’t be eligible to file for bankruptcy or your case can be dismissed. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you find qualifying courses and take care of this obligation.
In addition to these three issues, there might be other reasons for dismissal. For example, in Chapter 13, reasons for dismissal include an unachievable repayment plan or a debtor failing to make payments. This is why it’s so important to understand your obligations and make sure you follow through with those obligations until you are officially discharged.
Dismissal means losing all of bankruptcy’s protection. Collections activities, including foreclosure, repossession, and lawsuits, can move forward. Depending on the reason for dismissal of the case there might be additional consequences, as well.
Working with an Attorney Helps You Avoid Having Your Bankruptcy Case Dismissed
The best thing you can do to avoid dismissal and achieve the debt discharge that will help you move forward with your life is to work with an attorney. This ensures you’ve covered all of your bases and reduced dismissal risk as much as possible.