Can I Refile?
Filing for bankruptcy protection is a complex process with many forms and schedules that have to be filled out with 100% accuracy and honesty. Most bankruptcy petitions are filed as a last resort to stave off debt and collection actions and so time is usually of the essence as well. If your bankruptcy petition contains any errors or omissions, there’s a strong likelihood that your case will be “dismissed” or in other words, your bankruptcy petition will be rejected. While you’ll have to pay the court filing fees a second time, the good news is that you can refile for bankruptcy. If you tried to file without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney, it’s time to make that call to ensure that your bankruptcy case is accepted or confirmed and to have better chances of having your debt wiped out.
Reasons for Bankruptcy Petition Rejection
As aforementioned, you must properly fill out all bankruptcy papers and comply with applicable laws and rules in order to have your bankruptcy case confirmed. If you miss any dates for filing, paying your court filing fees, miss your meeting of creditors, or fail to complete the mandatory credit counseling course before filing for bankruptcy, your case will be dismissed without eliminating any debt. Making any mistakes on your bankruptcy papers (referred to as schedules) can be seen as committing bankruptcy fraud and is also a grounds for dismissal. Additionally, the bankruptcy trustee may report you for further investigation which could result in criminal fines and incarceration.
Refiling with a Bankruptcy Lawyer
The US Bankruptcy Code restricts the number of debt discharges (debt elimination), that a person can receive in a certain time period, not the number of filings. Therefore if your bankruptcy petition has been rejected you can refile immediately. OF course, you want to fix the issues that led to your bankruptcy dismissal in the first place. The absolute best way to ensure that your bankruptcy case proceeds smoothly is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will not only advise you on possible issues but is also able to give you legal advice when filling out your paperwork and on your meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. A Houston bankruptcy lawyer can even approve loan reaffirmations that are in your best interest and prevent you from making more than one court appearance in most cases.
If you attempted to file bankruptcy without the help of a bankruptcy law firm ended up in a rejection, you’re not alone. Some sources quote as little as a 1% success rate for debtors who file for bankruptcy alone. Having an experienced professional on your side will not only help with getting your case approved by the Bankruptcy Courts, but could end up saving your property, eliminating lawsuits, and help you get rid of debt entirely.