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  • Vernon Office


    244 State Hwy 94
    Vernon, New Jersey 07462

  • Wayne Office


    73 Mountainview Blvd
    Wayne, New Jersey 07470



  • Pompton Lakes Office


    58 Colfax Avenue #1
    Pompton Lakes, New Jersey 07442

  • Hackensack Office


    41 Main Street
    Suite 2
    Hackensack, New Jersey 07601



  • Nutley Office


    345 Centre Street
    Suite 2
    Nutley, New Jersey 07110



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  • Grounds for Dismissal of a Bankruptcy Case and How to Avoid Them

Grounds for Dismissal of a Bankruptcy Case and How to Avoid Them

Bankruptcy is a proven way to eliminate or reduce debts, but it is a complicated procedure that has to be done right. There are a number of potential pitfalls that can result in dismissal of your case and perhaps bar you from refiling, at least for the foreseeable future.

Any of the following can be grounds for dismissal of a bankruptcy case:

  • Failing to provide a certification that you completed an approved credit-counseling class before filing or an approved debtor-education class during the bankruptcy
  • Failing to include all the required bankruptcy forms when you file your petition or within 14 days thereafter
  • Failing to pay the bankruptcy filing fee
  • Refusing to provide the trustee with tax returns and other requested financial records
  • Failing to appear at the meeting of creditors
  • Failing the means test for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and refusing to allow the case to be converted to a Chapter 13 debt reorganization
  • Failing to make any payments required under a Chapter 13 debt reorganization plan
  • Providing inaccurate information, hiding assets or committing any other form of fraud in the course of your bankruptcy

In most cases, you will be able to refile immediately. However, if you commit bankruptcy fraud or refile too many times, you might have to wait longer or you might only be able to refile under certain conditions.

Dismissal of your case will have immediate consequences. The automatic stay that goes into effect upon filing for bankruptcy comes to an end, which means creditors can resume their collection efforts, including garnishment of your wages. The dismissal may also shorten the automatic stay if and when you refile for bankruptcy. An automatic may be denied entirely if two or more bankruptcy cases were dismissed in the 12 months before refiling.

Dismissal usually can be avoided by fully cooperating in the bankruptcy process, including compliance with document requests. This is not to say that you must necessarily give in to the trustee’s or creditors’ demands, but if you object to a request, the bankruptcy court will decide whether or not the request or your objection is valid, and you must comply with the court’s decision.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid the dismissal of your bankruptcy case is to retain a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney and heed his or her advice. In fact, few unrepresented debtors successfully complete the process. The Law Offices of James C. Zimmerman provides detailed, reliable advice and personalized attention to our clients in northern New Jersey. Call us at 973-764-1633 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Vernon, Wayne, Pompton Lakes, Hackensack and Nutley.