Most bankruptcy cases travel smoothly and seamlessly through the process with nary a problem. There are, however, rules that every bankruptcy filer must know and follow if they want to rid themselves of debt in a complete and timely manner. Read to find out about a few reasons that your bankruptcy could end before you get a discharge of your debts.
Know the Rules
Having a bankruptcy attorney to advise you and keep you on on the right side of the law is important, but you must also do your part. There are several aspects of bankruptcy that are up to you and your attorney can only do so much to protect you if you fail to do the following:
1. Fill out your bankruptcy forms correctly, completely and honestly. You will be asked about your debts, your property holdings, previous bankruptcies and more. This information will be verified by the bankruptcy court but not necessarily by your attorney.
2. Attend the two bankruptcy education classes as required.
3. Attend the creditor's meeting and provide honest answers to the bankruptcy trustee's questions.
4. Follow the rules about using your credit cards prior to filing bankruptcy.
An Objection is Filed
The first sign of trouble in a bankruptcy case is often the filing of an objection. Either the bankruptcy trustee or a creditor will file an objection which could bring your bankruptcy process to a sudden halt. This objection might come after you have filed, after the creditor's meeting or even after your bankruptcy has been discharged.
A creditor is anyone you owe money to. When you include a debt on the bankruptcy form the creditor is put on notice about the debt and they may request a hearing to resolve the matter or they may appear at the creditor's meeting with their objection. You will always know about this issue ahead of time so that you can be prepared. Creditors can object to :
- Your use of a credit card to buy items or to take cash advances prior to you filing.
- Applying for credit using false information.
While creditor objections can often be resolved by showing that you charged something you really needed or by paying that part of the debt, trustee issues can be more difficult and serious. You may, in fact, face punishment in addition to having your bankruptcy suspended for the following:
1. Misstating your property holdings and/or hiding property.
2. Hiding, destroying or not turning over requested financial documents like tax returns and bank statements.
3. Lying under oath.
4. Failure to comply with court orders, such as one to surrender non-secured property.
5. Conspiring with to sell or give way property prior to filing to avoid surrender.
6. Filing bankruptcy too soon after another bankruptcy.
To learn more about any of the above issues, speak to your bankruptcy attorney.