The simple answer to this question is, “Yes, a great deal.” However, an experienced attorney can ensure your bankruptcy proceedings ultimately are successful, even if a specific creditor raises an issue with the discharge of their debt. You might be forced to pay that particular debt back, but you will still receive relief from bankruptcy.
They key to a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy is eliminating as much of your debt is possible. Ideally, you will owe nothing at the completion of your Chapter 7 and you can truly get that fresh start you expected.
Unfortunately, your creditors are not going to go willingly into the situation because it means they must take a loss on the money you owe them.
Doing Your Part
According to Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code, the court must grant the debtor a discharge as long as he or she fulfills any necessary obligations of the bankruptcy, and to the trustee and creditors. This means you must provide accurate information about your assets, your liability, and the money you earn within a certain period of time. You are at risk of perjuring yourself if you are dishonest concerning any of these issues and your bankruptcy request will likely be denied.
Section 727 also allows the trustee or a creditor to file a complaint if he or she believes you have been dishonest. The most common reason a complaint is filed is because the debtor is thought to be hiding assets or information, or because his or her financial records are disorganized and do not reflect reality. Remember, if a creditor believes it is possible to receive payment for the debt you owe and that you do not deserve a discharge, they are going to do whatever it takes to get their money.
Revoking a Discharge
Finally, keep in mind a discharge could be revoked. Do not assume that if you hid information, intentionally or by accident, and your debts were discharged, you got away with anything. Revoking of a discharge must take place within one year or before the bankruptcy case is closed.
In most cases, people are honest and do not intentionally hide information. People filing for bankruptcy are often frightened and looking to their attorneys for assistance. If information is inaccurate it is because they legitimately did not think they needed to tell their attorney. However, there are cases where people try to get away with hiding assets. Don’t do this – it always backfires.
If you have questions about creditors and their role in your bankruptcy or you are ready to file, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to discuss your financial situation and determine your next best step.