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Avoiding pitfalls in bankruptcy cases, Part 1

Findlaw.com recently issued the results of a survey showing roughly 13 percent of all Americans have considered filing for bankruptcy protection. Last year alone 1.5 million Americans filed for debt relief under the bankruptcy code.

For most consumers there are two primary forms of bankruptcy relief: those arising under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code; and, those arising under chapter 13. Most bankruptcy cases proceed to provide debtors with a fresh start. However, there are some avoidable pitfalls that can disrupt a bankruptcy case.

A bankruptcy petition can be rejected for a number of reasons, such as avoidable omissions in information or mistakes in the petition. A seasoned Cincinnati bankruptcy attorney can help an Ohio resident who files for bankruptcy to gather the necessary information and provide the information to the bankruptcy court and the trustee administering the bankruptcy case. The following mistakes and omissions in a bankruptcy case could result in rejection of a bankruptcy petition.

Amount of household income.

In 2005, the bankruptcy code added a "means test." A formula is used to determine who may qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is what most individuals think of as a traditional form of relief. Unsecured debts are discharged at the conclusion of the proceeding providing the debtor with a fresh start.

If the bankruptcy court determines an individual who has filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy makes too much money based upon the means test, the court can reject the petition. A debtor in this situation can still consider a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The next post will continue the discussion of potential avoidable errors or omissions in a bankruptcy case that can lead to more headaches for a bankruptcy petitioner.

Source: walletpop.com, "Bankruptcy Blunders: Top Reasons Your Bankruptcy Filing May Be Rejected," Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, 14 June 2011

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