We are establishing an office-wide policy to improve our efficiency and communication with the debtors’ bar. There is a tendency to initiate contact with the chapter 13 office for an upcoming Court list on the afternoon of the day before the hearing. This puts a strain on our staff and reduces the likelihood of a prompt reply.
To encourage earlier communication, we are requesting that any contact made for a weekly list be initiated at least 48 (business) hours before the list’s date/time.
If we receive such a timely request, then we shall commit to replying no later than noon on the (business) day immediately before the hearing. If a timely request is made and we fail to reply as agreed, please bring to the Trustee’s attention.
If a timely request is not made, and you receive no reply from us, then you should appear at the hearing.
Common Reasons for Bankruptcy Case Dismissals
There are many reasons why your Bankruptcy Case could be dismissed and your debts will not be discharged. Listed below are some of the more common reasons.
- Motion to Dismiss Case (for Failure to file a complete list of creditors (mailing matrix)
When filing a new bankruptcy case, you must immediately file a complete list of creditors, including their names and addresses. This list is separate from your schedules. If this list is not filed immediately, the trustee or U.S. trustee may file a motion to dismiss your case.
- Failure to Submit Social Security Number (Official Form 121)
You must submit a statement about your social security number. This statement should be included with a new case or filed within fourteen (14) days after the case is opened. If you do not file this form on time, your case could be dismissed.
- Failure to File Required Documents and/or pay Filing Fees
When you file a bankruptcy petition, you must file required documents and you must pay the filing fee. Unless the court has extended the deadline for documents and/or has given you permission to pay the filing fee in installments or has waived the fee, you must file the documents and pay the filing fee in full. If you do not file the documents timely and/or pay your fees on time or obtain a waiver of the fees, your case may be dismissed by the Court with or without a hearing.
- Failure to attend the Meeting of Creditors
Shortly after filing your bankruptcy case, the Court will send you notice of the date, time, and location of the Meeting of Creditors (sometimes called a 341 meeting). You are required to attend this meeting. If you filed a joint petition with your spouse, he/she must also attend. If you do not attend this meeting, your case may be dismissed.
- Failure to obtain credit counseling prior to filing for Bankruptcy
Individual consumer debtors must obtain credit counseling from an approved provider within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy. You must file your certificate of credit counseling with the court. If you do not take an approved course within the required time or do not file the certificate of credit counseling, your case may be dismissed.
- Failure to File all Required Documents
If you are missing any required statements or schedules, the Court will send you a notice of missing documents. Typical missing documents include: the complete list of creditors, all schedules, the statement of financial affairs, the statement of monthly income (or means test), and Employee Income Records ( or pay stubs) or a Certification of no payment advices if you are not employed. If missing documents are not filed timely, your case may be subject to dismissal.
- Failure to Propose a Feasible Plan in a Chapter 13 case
The first meaning of feasibility is that of the “feasibility requirement” common to chapter 13 bankruptcy, chapter 11 bankruptcy, and chapter 12 bankruptcy. Simply put, the feasibility requirement is that debtor must demonstrate ability to do what is proposed in the plan, e.g. make the payments. The second meaning is disbursement feasibility: does the debtor propose to pay enough to the trustee that the standing trustee can then make all required disbursements to creditors.
- Unreasonable Delay
If the chapter 13 case is just dragging on and on with little to no progress, then a party-in-interest, creditor or trustee may file a motion with the court to request a hearing and dismissal for unreasonable delay
- Failure to Make Regular Plan Payments in a Chapter 13 case
If you have a Chapter 13 case, plan payments must be made to the trustee in a timely manner as outlined in your Chapter 13 Plan. If these payments are missed, the trustee may file a motion to dismiss the case. Remember, payments commence 30 days after the petition date (not 30 days after the plan is filed and not 30 days after the 341 hearing).