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Not everyone walks away with a Chapter 7 discharge

Dealing with overwhelming debt is not new to many Austin residents, and you may be one of them. You tried everything to get your finances under control, but your circumstances just wouldn't allow it. By the time creditors started calling, you knew you needed to find a permanent debt relief option.

You decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The first thing you look forward to is the automatic stay, since it will stop the creditor calls and any other impending financial calamities that could come in the future. The next thing you look forward to is receiving a discharge, but that might not happen if you fail to get through the process without making any mistakes.

What mistakes could deny you a discharge?

In addition to meeting all of the eligibility requirements, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires you to meet certain procedural and paperwork requirements. Below are three common mistakes people make. If you make them, the court may not grant you a discharge:

  • You must attend a Section 341 meeting, also called the meeting of creditors, during which the trustee and/or your creditors will ask you questions. You must answer the questions truthfully and under oath.
  • You must file all of the required paperwork. The court may give you a chance to file any paperwork you failed to, and you must do it within the time given in order to keep your chance to receive a discharge.
  • You must complete the financial management course before you can receive a discharge. If you fail to complete the course and file the certificate, the court will dismiss your bankruptcy case.

Without a discharge of eligible debts, creditors can resume their efforts to collect those debts from you. For this reason, getting everything right the first time is crucial. You must file every piece of paper, attend the meeting of creditors and complete the financial management course, at the very least. The court may have other requirements of you as well. If you don't complete those, you may not receive your discharge.

After reviewing all of the requirements, all of the deadlines and all of the paperwork, you may find yourself wondering how you are going to make sure you meet all of the legal requirements, the requirements of the court and any requirements the trustee may have. The best way to increase your chances of receiving a discharge is to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

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William T. Peckham
1104 Nueces Street, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-487-7604
Fax: 512-478-1790
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