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Archive for the ‘dismissal’ tag

A Sample Completed Chapter 7 Case

September 15th, 2017 at 7:00 am

What does the completion of a successful Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case look like? What happens to your debts?

 

A Sample Chapter 7 Case

In our last blog post we wrote about completing a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case. Today we’re doing the same thing with a Chapter 7 case.

And like last time we’ll show what a finished Chapter 7 case looks like through tangible facts.

So imagine Jennifer filing a Chapter 7 case through the help of her bankruptcy lawyer to stop a lawsuit by a collection company, write off some old income taxes she’d been struggling to make monthly payments on, hang onto a vehicle whose loan she’d started falling behind on, and write off a bunch of medical, credit card and other personal debts.

The Facts

Jennifer had fallen behind on virtually all of her debts 18 months ago. She’d lost her job and it took her 3 months to find a new one.

She couldn’t pay a $1,200 medical bill, so a few months later it was sent to collections. For 12 months Jennifer disregarded collection letter and phone calls because she had absolutely no money to pay this debt. Then the collector sued her. She was justifiably very concerned about getting her paycheck garnished. She’s a bookkeeper. Her employer made clear that employees in her position better not have their wages garnished. Stopping that lawsuit from turning into a judgment pushed her into filing a Chapter 7 case.

In 2012 she’d started a side business to try to get ahead in life. It made some money for a while but then the income fell off and she had to close it down. She couldn’t afford to pay federal income taxes on that income, so she owed $8,000. In 2015 she’d arranged with the IRS to make $150 monthly payments, and struggled to pay those. She was really afraid what would happen if she stopped paying. She still owed $5,000 in income taxes, interest and penalties.

In the midst of all these financial pressures she struggled to pay her $390 vehicle loan payments. She was often late on the payments, racking up late charges. The last month or two before filing bankruptcy she’d gotten right to the brink of getting her car repossessed. She had absolutely no way to get to work or doctor appointments without her car. So being able to pay for her car was another big reason for filing bankruptcy.

The Filing of Her Case

When Jennifer’s case was filed that immediately stopped the collection lawsuit. She could also stop paying the $150 monthly installments on her income tax debt. That’s because the tax was old enough and otherwise qualified for discharge—legal write-off. She no longer had to pay on any of the $75,000 in other unsecured debts—other medical bills, credit cards, and various other obligations. So she was able to quickly catch up on her car loan and be able to pay it without distress.

The End of the Chapter 7 Case

Jennifer filed her case 100 days ago. That’s about how long most consumer Chapter 7 cases take to finish. Completing her case successfully is crucial because otherwise she’d lose the benefits of her case.

Regarding her vehicle loan, a few weeks earlier she had entered into a reaffirmation agreement with her lender. That agreement formally excluded the loan from the discharge of the rest of her debts. She agreed to remain liable on that loan in return for being able to keep her car. She was happy to continue owing on this debt, now that she had no trouble making the payments. Reaffirming the debt also allowed her to quickly start re-establishing her credit.

So now Jennifer receives a copy of a Discharge Order from the bankruptcy court. Her creditors all also receive copies. This court order prevents any of her creditors—other than the vehicle lender—from pursuing her or her assets. From the time her Chapter 7 case was filed until now the debts were on hold. The “automatic stay” prevented any of her creditors from taking any collection action against her. But Jennifer still owed the debts. Now the Discharge Order makes her debts permanently uncollectible.

All of her creditors—again with the exception of the vehicle lender lender—now each write off her debt from their books. This includes the IRS. It becomes illegal for any of these creditors to do anything to collect its debt. They must report to credit reporting agencies that the debt has been written off and is no longer owed.

Conclusion

So Jennifer can get on with her life in financial peace. She doesn’t worry about lawsuits and garnishments. She doesn’t fear what the IRS will do to her if she misses an installment payment. And she can comfortably pay her vehicle loan payment and looks forward to paying it off. Other than that manageable single payment she is debt-free, and appreciating her fresh financial start.

 

Getting Ready to Finish a Chapter 13 Case

September 11th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Finishing a Chapter 13 case successfully is a big deal. It’s rewarding financially and emotionally. Here’s how it happens.  


The End-of-Chapter 13 Benefits

Just because of the way Chapter 13 works, a lot of its benefit comes near or at its very end. For example:

  • “General unsecured debts”: In most cases most of the debts are neither secured nor “priority,” meaning they are “general unsecured” ones. Also, in most cases a major portion of those debts are not paid through your Chapter 13 plan but rather discharged—legally written off forever. But that doesn’t happen until you successfully finish the case.
  •  “Priority” income tax debts: You have to pay these taxes (usually because they too new to discharge) through your Chapter 13 plan. But you usually don’t have to pay interest or any ongoing penalties on these taxes. However, if you don’t successfully finish your case that interest and those penalties would be imposed again. Once you finish the case, that interest and those penalties disappear.
  • “Stripped” second/third mortgage:  Chapter 13 may give you the power to turn a second or third mortgage into an unsecured debt. This “stripping” of the mortgage from your home gives you tremendous immediate and long-term financial savings.  But this “stripping” requires you to successfully finish the case.
  • Curing first mortgage arrearage: If you are using Chapter 13 to stretch out your payments for catching up on your mortgage, you may well not catch up until close to the end of your payment plan. Under Chapter 13 your mortgage lender is prevented from foreclosing while you are under bankruptcy protection. But if your case gets dismissed before you completely catch up on the mortgage, your lender could start/resume foreclosure. You need to finish your case to ensure that you get current on your mortgage.

How Do You Know How Much Longer Your Case Needs to Go?

In some Chapter 13 cases you know exactly how many months it is supposed to take. Other cases are less clear. That’s because cases can be affected by events that unfold during the years that a case is active.

For example, your Chapter 13 plan may require you to catch up on your “priority” taxes or unpaid child support. You may not know precisely how much you owe in taxes or support at the time your bankruptcy lawyer calculates the length of your plan. Once the exact amount becomes known that may extend or shorten your case. That may be true of certain other kinds of debts, like the arrearage on a home mortgage that you’re curing.

Also, changes in your income and/or expenses can result in a plan “modification,” again potentially extending or shortening it.

So how do you know how long your case has to go while you are in the midst of it?

Your lawyer likely has the information to either very closely estimate or tell you exactly how long you have. He and she could also ask the Chapter 13 trustee to run this calculation. The trustee is likely set up to do that efficiently. (See our most recent blog post about the roles of this trustee.)

Case Completion Events

Once you’ve finished paying all you are required to pay into your Chapter 13 plan, the trustee tells you and your lawyer that you have done so. Your lawyer gets the opportunity for a final review of your case, to verify that everything went as it should.

Once the trustee is satisfied that you’re done, he or she informs the bankruptcy court. Then the court enters a discharge order. That discharges all (or virtually) all the debts that you have not paid through your payment plan. If your plan says you were to pay 20% of your “general unsecured debts,” the remaining 80% would be discharged. Unpaid income tax interest and penalties would be discharged. These creditors could never chase you for these debts. All of the other benefits of Chapter 13 would get finalized.

Simultaneous with the discharge order, the court would order the closure of your case.

You’d be done. It would make perfect sense for you to have a quiet little party to reward yourself for having successfully completed your case!

 

The Option of Converting Your Chapter 13 Case into a Chapter 7 One

August 28th, 2017 at 7:00 am

When deciding between Chapter 7 and 13, if you choose a Chapter 13 payment plan realize that converting later to Chapter 7 is an option. 


Chapter 13—Powerful But Comes with Risks

Chapter 13 is a powerful tool. If you have certain special kinds of debts it can help you with those debts in amazing ways. It can enable you to save your home or vehicle, sometimes by reducing how much you need to pay monthly. In some circumstances it reduces what you need to pay on these debts altogether. Chapter 13 gives you power over income tax debts, child and spousal support arrearage, student loans, other obligations against your home, other secured debts, and certain other kinds of debts.

But Chapter 13 also requires a long-term commitment. The payment plan that you and your attorney propose requires looking into the future. It requires predicting your income and expenses for the following 3 to 5 years. It’s more challenging if your income and expenses don’t stay somewhat steady during that time. Life often doesn’t go as expected or hoped.

Considerations

The advantages of Chapter 13 may make sense but they often do involve some risk.

To qualify for Chapter 13 you must be an “individual with regular income.” This means that your “income is sufficiently stable and regular to enable [you] to make payments under a [Chapter 13] plan.” (See Sections 109(e) and 101(30) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.) This requirement of a “stable and regular” income is a broader than it may sound. But it does require you and your bankruptcy lawyer predict your income for the life of your payment plan.

Your bankruptcy court will tend to give you a chance to demonstrate that your income is stable enough for Chapter 13. As long as you have reasonable justification, you are usually given the opportunity to see if you can make the payments you are proposing.

So you may appropriately decide to file a Chapter 13 case to take advantage of its unique powers. But then your income may not end up meeting your expectations, or your expenses may unexpectedly increase. So down the line you may not be able to pay into your Chapter 13 payment plan as you had expected.

You may be able to amend, or “modify” your plan to deal with such financial changes. But that may not always work. Knowing that Chapter 7 is available as a fallback option can be reassuring when deciding to file under Chapter 13.

The Right to Convert to Chapter 7

The Bankruptcy Code explicitly states in Section 1307(a) that a Chapter 13

debtor may convert a case under this chapter to a case under chapter 7 of this title at any time. Any waiver of the right to convert under this subsection is unenforceable.

So, at any point in your Chapter 13 you can switch it into a Chapter 7 one.

However, there are some rather rare situations in which conversion is not so easy. If the bankruptcy court believes that the bankruptcy laws are being abused, conversion may not be allowed. Again, this is rare. Talk with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer about whether and how this might ever apply to you. In general you can assume that you can switch to a Chapter 7 case “at any time.”

The Conversion-to-Chapter 7 Option

Our last blog post discussed some of the disadvantages of voluntarily ending, or dismissing, a Chapter 13 case. You immediately lose protection from creditor collection activities and your debts are not discharged (legally written off).

Conversion to Chapter 7 avoids those disadvantages. The protection from creditors—the “automatic stay”—continues from the prior Chapter 13 case without a break into the new Chapter 7 case. And at the end of the Chapter 7 case, usually about three months after the conversion, most of your debts get discharged.

So, conversion to Chapter 7 can be a decent back-up plan if your circumstances or goals change. As you’re considering the Chapter 13 option, it’s good to know you can later convert into a Chapter 7 case if necessary.

 

Your Voluntary Dismissal of a Chapter 13 Case

August 25th, 2017 at 7:00 am

The Bankruptcy Code explicitly says that, at the request of the person in a Chapter 13 case, the bankruptcy “court shall dismiss” the case. 

 

The last three blog posts have been about amending, or “modifying,” your Chapter 13 payment plan. But what if you don’t want to be in the Chapter 13 case at all? Can you just end it altogether?

Yes, almost always you can end a Chapter 13 case, by getting it “dismissed.”.

A Clearly Stated, Special Right

You can dismiss a Chapter 13 case easily because the Bankruptcy Code says you can, and says so very clearly:

On request of the debtor at any time… the [bankruptcy] court shall dismiss a case under this chapter [13].

(Section 1307(b) of the Bankruptcy Code.)

Two parts of this deserve to be highlighted:

  1. You can ask for a dismissal “at any time”—at any point in the life of a Chapter 13 case. So you can dismiss it soon after filing, if you realize you’ve made a mistake and change your mind. And you can dismiss your case after your payment plan has been approved by the court, for example, if your circumstances change and you don’t want to be in it any more.  
  2. The law says that “the court shall” dismiss the case whenever you ask. This seems to mean that the bankruptcy court doesn’t have any choice about it. The wording isn’t that the court “may” but rather that it “shall” dismiss your Chapter 13 case.

As a result if you ever want your Chapter 13 case dismissed, usually within a day or so of your bankruptcy lawyer filing a motion to dismiss your case will be dismissed.

Be aware that there isn’t a similar statute enabling the easy dismissal of a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case. So this is a powerful right special to Chapter 13.

Why Is This Reserved for Chapter 13?

Most likely Congress included this right to provide an incentive for people to file under Chapter 13. Naturally you’ll be more inclined to try a particular legal solution if you can always get out of it. The idea is to encourage people to pay part of their debts instead of writing them off under Chapter 7.

In fact Congress thought this right to dismiss so important that you can’t be forced to give it up. The statute finishes by saying: “Any waiver of [this] right to dismiss… is unenforceable.” (Section 1307(b)) You can‘t be forced to sign away this right by contract or otherwise.

The Importance of the Dismissal Option

A Chapter 13 case lasts a long time compared to a Chapter 7 case—usually 3 to 5 years. A lot can happen during that time. So it can be important to be able to get out.

The major reason you filed your case may no longer apply. For example, you may have filed to catch up on home mortgage payments but you get a job out of state. So now you decide to surrender or sell the home instead, and don’t need the Chapter 13 case.

Or your financial circumstances change so that you don’t need Chapter 13 help, or else it doesn’t help you enough. In the example of being behind on your mortgage, if you came into some money you might be able to quickly catch up and no longer need the time that Chapter 13 buys you. Or your income goes down significantly so that you can’t catch up even within the extended time Chapter 13 provides.

In these and countless other circumstances, it’s good to be able to get out if that’s your best option.

But IS Dismissal Your Best Option?

As easy as it is to do, simply dismissing the case is often not your best option. That’s because most likely you have debts which you would continue to owe. Chapter 13 does not result in a “discharge”—legal write-off—of your debts until its successful completion. So if you dismiss before then you will continue to owe those debts. It may be better to instead “convert” into a Chapter 7 case. But there are situations when dismissal is the best. We’ll address these issues in the next few blog posts.

Can You Definitely Dismiss Your Case If You Want To?

In spite of what we said about the clear language in the statute, there may be some extreme situations when a debtor could not dismiss a Chapter 13 case.

There has been debate among bankruptcy judges about this. Some have decided that in situations of serious debtor abuse or fraud, the debtor can’t escape the jurisdiction of the court by simply getting his or her case dismissed. There may be other statutes or legal principles that can defeat even the clearly stated right of dismissal.  So in limited situations a judge might prevent a Chapter 13 case from being dismissed. 

However, in the vast majority of situations, just about as soon as you ask your Chapter 13 case will be dismissed.

 

Adversary Proceedings by the Trustee

March 6th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Usually it’s not hard to avoid getting into a dispute with your trustee. But you need to know the law and follow it.

 

Last time we introduced the term “adversary proceedings,” essentially the name for lawsuits in bankruptcy court. We focused on adversary proceedings brought by creditors against debtors when challenging the discharge of their debts. Today we turn to possible adversary proceedings by trustees.

We have to keep emphasizing that most consumer bankruptcy cases involve NO adversary proceeding at all.  Most cases go generally as expected, that is, assuming that the debtor is represented by an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. This also assumes that the debtor is honest and thorough with the lawyer so that any potential issues can be nipped in the bud.

But disputes sometimes do arise. So it’s helpful to have some idea what those might be and how they are resolved.

The Trustee in Bankruptcy

Essentially, the trustee in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy stands in for the creditors. He or she is a person given certain powers by the bankruptcy court to act on behalf of the creditors. The practical idea is that it’s simply not very efficient for every creditor to deal with the debtor directly. Once a person has to file bankruptcy, there’s usually not much in assets to fight about. Also, the debtor is protected from creditors, but still has to follow the laws of bankruptcy. So the trustee is empowered in certain ways to enforce those laws.

One way bankruptcy trustees enforce bankruptcy laws is through adversary proceedings against the debtor.  

Trustee-Filed Adversary Proceedings

Here’s a list of the main kinds of adversary proceedings a bankruptcy trustee could bring:

  • raising a concern that the debtor did not complete the bankruptcy documents accurately but rather intentionally misrepresented the facts (see Section 521 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code.)
  • asking for the bankruptcy court to dismiss the case if paperwork is not filed on time
  • asking for case dismissal if the debtor misses a court date without a good reason
  • getting court authority to collect money back from a creditor who received funds or property from a debtor (see Section 547)
  • undoing a transfer of real property or other assets that the debtor gave away or sold before filing bankruptcy (see Section 548)

We’ll talk about these more in upcoming blog posts.

The United States Trustee

There is another player in the bankruptcy system which can also bring adversary proceedings, the U.S. Trustee. Unlike the “chapter trustees” above, this is an office of the federal government. It has some major administrative and enforcement roles in the bankruptcy system. The U.S. Trustee’s office supervises the “chapter trustees” and directly oversees bankruptcy cases as well.

The U.S. Trustee mostly files adversary proceedings for two reasons:

  • to force the debtor to move from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 if the U.S. Trustee believes that the filing of the bankruptcy petition was done in “bad faith”
  • to dismiss the case if the U.S. Trustee believes the filing of any bankruptcy petition was done to “abuse” the bankruptcy system

We’ll talk about these more in upcoming blog posts.

Conclusion

We realize that hearing about these various ways that the Chapter 7 and 13 trustees and the U.S. Trustee can bring adversary proceedings against you can be unsettling. But most of the time it’s not hard to avoid these kinds of disputes. When driving down the freeway we don’t have to worry about the highway patrol if you’re not speeding. But it is important to know the speed limit and stay below it.

In bankruptcy it’s crucial to know the law by having a lawyer in your corner explaining it to you. That way you can avoid disputes from arising. And in the relatively rare times when a dispute does happen, you have the necessary help to resolve it quickly.

 

Lack of the Automatic Stay through Multiple Prior Bankruptcy Filings

November 2nd, 2016 at 7:00 am

If there’s a risk you would not get the immediate benefit of the automatic stay, be aware of it and be prepare to prove your “good faith.”

 

Never Getting the “Automatic Stay”

Last time we talked about the bad situation of losing the “automatic stay” as to all of your creditors. This loss could happen automatically 30 days after you file your bankruptcy case. The automatic stay is the extremely important protection from creditor collections that goes into effect the moment you and your bankruptcy lawyer file your case. We showed how losing this protection would in most cases make a bankruptcy case largely ineffective. Protection from creditor collections is such a basic part of filing bankruptcy.

If losing the automatic stay 30 days after filing your case is bad, there’s a twist that’s even worse. Under other but similar circumstances the automatic stay protection could simply never go into effect when filing your case.

More than One Prior Dismissed Bankruptcy within 1 Year

So how could filing bankruptcy NOT provide you the protection of the automatic stay?

If:

  • during the one-year period before filing a new case you were in two or more prior bankruptcy cases, and
  • those prior cases were “dismissed” (thrown out and/or closed before being completed).

Then the automatic stay “shall not go into effect upon the filing of the later case.” Section 362(c)(4) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The Automatic Stay MAY Go into Effect 30 Days Later

If you and your bankruptcy lawyer act quickly, there’s a good chance the “automatic stay” could still go into effect. You simply need to show the bankruptcy judge that your new case was filed “in good faith.” You need to show that it’s not as an abuse of the bankruptcy system. If successful, the automatic stay would usually be imposed on all of your creditors as usual. It would remain in effect throughout the remaining life of the case, unless a future court order says otherwise.

What’s Good Faith?

Good faith means honesty, sincerity of intention.

As mentioned above, in this context it means that your filing of the current bankruptcy case is not an abuse of the law. The main abuse that the law was designed to prevent is serial filing.

That was a practice that wasn’t directly forbidden under the bankruptcy statutes. However, arguably it took inappropriate advantage of the law.

A person who wanted to stop some creditor action—say a home foreclosure—would file a bankruptcy case. That would impose the automatic stay and stop the foreclosure. At some point the person would fail to take a necessary step in the bankruptcy case. He or she would not file a required document or not appear at a required hearing. So the court would dismiss the case. That would enable the creditor to resume the foreclosure procedure. But then just before the foreclosure sale the person would file another bankruptcy case to stop that sale. Then the person would repeat the cycle.

Congress changed the law to stop such serial filings by automatically preventing the automatic stay from being imposed after two bankruptcy filings and dismissals within one year.

The Presumption of Bad Faith

Under certain circumstances you need to show the court stronger evidence to establish the required “good faith.” You need to present “clear and convincing” evidence of your “good faith if:  

  • the prior case’s dismissal resulted from your failing to
    • file required documents at court “without substantial excuse”
    • “provide adequate protection as ordered by the court” (see our blog post of Oct. 17, 2016 about “Adequate Protection”)
    • “perform the terms” of a court-approved payment plan
  • “there has not been a substantial change in [your] financial or personal affairs” “or any other reason to conclude” that the new case will be successful

See Section 362(c)(4)(D) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

If you can produce the necessary evidence that the new case was filed in “good faith,” then the automatic stay would go into effect the day the judge enters an order stating so.

 

Losing the Automatic Stay through a Prior Bankruptcy Filing

October 31st, 2016 at 7:00 am

Don’t jeopardize an indispensable benefit of filing bankruptcy–immediate protection from your creditors.

 

Losing the Entire “Automatic Stay”

We’ve been going through a series of blog posts about the different important twists and turns of the “automatic stay.” That’s the protection from creditor collections that goes into effect the moment you and your bankruptcy lawyer file your case.

A debtor can lose this protection as to one creditor if the creditor asks for and gets “relief from stay.” However, in rare circumstances debtors can lose the automatic stay protection as to ALL of their creditors, all at once. We cover this second situation in today’s blog post and the next one.

“Relief from Stay” as to One Debt

A couple of weeks ago we got specifically into the circumstances where a creditor could ask for “relief from stay.” If a creditor is successful in such an attempt, the automatic stay no longer applies to it. Or at least it doesn’t apply in some respect.

For example, a vehicle loan creditor may get permission to repossess a vehicle if you don’t make payments. That permission would very likely not allow the creditor to do anything except repossess the vehicle. For instance, the creditor could not sue you or otherwise try to collect on any remaining balance on the loan.

Furthermore, as just mentioned, the “relief from stay” that a creditor would receive would apply only to it. That limited permission to chase you or your asset(s) would not apply to the rest of your creditors.  

But imagine if instead ALL of your creditors could pursue you all at once, in spite of you having filed bankruptcy!

Bankruptcy Is Ineffective without the Automatic Stay

Let’s demonstrate how bankruptcy does work without the automatic stay, first, in a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case.  In most consumer Chapter 7 cases all or most of the debts are “discharged”—legally written off—about 3 months after you file the case. But without the automatic stay the creditors could try to force you to pay in the meantime. That would be a mess.

There may also be debts that Chapter 7 does not discharge, such as child support. Or you may have other debts you don’t want to discharge, such as a vehicle loan, to keep the vehicle. If all your creditors could continue pressuring you to pay, you would not be able to pay these more important debts.

In a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case it would only be worse. In most of these cases you pay creditors only a portion of what you owe them. Often you pay most creditors only a small portion of what you owe, and do so over a 3-to-5-year period. The discharge of debts only happens at the end of that period. This arrangement would simply not work at all without the automatic stay making creditors stop their collections and accept the terms of the payment plan.

Without the automatic stay most bankruptcy cases would not accomplish what you need.

One Prior Dismissed Bankruptcy within 1 Year

So how could you lose the automatic stay as to all of your creditors?

If:

  • during the one-year period before filing a new case you were in a prior bankruptcy case; and
  • that prior case was “dismissed” (thrown out and/or closed before it was completed.

Then the automatic stay could altogether terminate 30 days after filing your new case. See Section 362(c)(3) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The automatic stay would go into effect as usual at the filing of your new case. But then its protection would automatically end 30 days later. It would only not end if in the meantime you and your bankruptcy lawyer persuaded the bankruptcy judge that your new case was filed “in good faith.”

It takes stronger evidence in certain circumstances to show the required “good faith.” It takes “clear and convincing” evidence to show the necessary “good faith” under the following circumstances:

  • if the prior case’s dismissal resulted from your failing to:

    • file required documents at court
    • “provide adequate protection as ordered by the court” (See our blog post of Oct. 17, 2016 about “Adequate Protection”)
    • “perform the terms” of a court-approved payment plan
    • if “there has not been a substantial change in [your] financial or personal affairs” “or any other reason to conclude” that the new case will be successful

See Section 362(c)(3)(C) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

If you can produce the necessary evidence that the new case was filed in “good faith,” then the automatic stay extends beyond the 30 days and remains in effect throughout the bankruptcy case.

Conclusion

So if you are considering bankruptcy, think carefully about whether you might have filed an earlier case recently. If there’s any chance you (or a spouse) filed an earlier bankruptcy case, tell your lawyer about it.  You’ll get the legal advice you need about whether you really had a prior case that could cause problems now. If so, your lawyer will to help you establish that you filed your new case in “good faith.”

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210-342-3400

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