Have you been discharged or did you receive a dismissal on your bankruptcy?
If you have and you still have questions, read on, we have some great information here that will help you in understanding what these terms mean.
In this Article we will be discussing the definition of a bankruptcy discharge, what happens if you are discharged and what to do if your creditors are still hounding you. We will also go over what a bankruptcy dismissal is and how you can avoid a dismissal from the bankruptcy court.
What is a bankruptcy discharge?
You should be a happy camper right now if you have received a “Discharge Letter” (or properly named the “Certification for Legibility of Discharge” letter) in the mail. A bankruptcy discharge is when the bankruptcy court has released you (the debtor) from any personal liability for the debts that you’ve included in your bankruptcy filing. Once your bankruptcy has been discharged you are no longer legally required to pay back any debts that were discharged during the time of your filing.
What this does not mean is that any new debts or debts that you had not included in your initial filing are safe from collection on behalf of your creditors. Keep an eye out for any creditors that may still be trying to collect on those debts. If you do have creditors that are trying to still collect on debts that have been discharged than there is another issue, so let’s dig briefly into this part next.
What happens if my bankruptcy was discharged, but my creditors are still calling me?
First, rest easy. If you’ve listed such creditor in your filing and your bankruptcy was discharged through the bankruptcy court, then you have nothing to worry about. Actually, if a creditor tries to collect on a debt that was legally discharged then they are the ones breaking the law and its Federal Law. The Fair Debt Collections Act 11 U.S.C. § 362(c) (2) states:
“If the debtor receives a discharge, then once the stay terminates it is replaced by the permanent discharge injunction of 11 U.S.C. § 524(a), that forever prohibits creditors from attempting to collect discharged debts.”
Again, its Federal Law that creditors cannot hound you after your bankruptcy is discharged. If you are hounded, you let this creditor know one time. If you are receiving calls or collection letters after informing the creditor that you’ve filed bankruptcy, and that your bankruptcy was discharged then it is time to contact your attorney.
For more information about the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act or the FDCPA click here, it tells you everything you need to know about what creditors can and cannot do.
What is a bankruptcy Dismissal?
If you’ve received a “Dismissal” letter in the mail than there is much room for concern. When you receive a dismissal letter it means that your bankruptcy was stopped before it was supposed to. During your bankruptcy case there is what is called an “automatic stay”, which protects you from almost any creditor trying to collect a debt from you. Once your case has been dismissed than the automatic stay is lifted and your creditors are free to come after you to collect on those debts.
If you were in a Chapter 13 case any money that you may have paid throughout your term (either 3 or 5 years) may be lost or at the very least a portion of it lost. This is because there was a payment agreement with your trustee in which they repay the debts for you based on the amount you pay each month. Once your case is dismissed the trustee is no longer making payments on those debts.
When your case is dismissed your creditors can come back to haunt you, the process of any lawsuit against you can begin again and in general your life may be vastly affected. There are ways of reinstating your case or refiling your case, but it is best to speak to a qualified attorney to learn how this is done. Our firm offers FREE consultations, so feel free to give us a call at (602) 262-4357 or contact us via our website form today.
How can my bankruptcy case be dismissed?
- You’ve supplied fraudulent information to your attorney, trustee or bankruptcy courts.
- You’ve failed to meet your trustee at the Meeting of Creditors
- You’ve failed to make your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments
- You’ve failed to cooperate with your Bankruptcy trustee, courts, etc
- You’ve failed to complete your mandatory Counseling courses.
There are other issues that you may have if you filed your own bankruptcy “Pro Se” (without an attorney). Below are some additional examples you could also have if your bankruptcy case was dismissed (including the ones listed above).
- Failing the Means Test
- Not paying the Court fees
The reason why these are Pro Se examples is because if you file bankruptcy with our firm whether its Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 we put your court fees within our budget plan for you. That way, when the court fees are paid, we’ll file your bankruptcy and then you are ready to be debt free!
What if I received a “Trustee Notice of Completed Plan” from the Chapter 13 bankruptcy court?
A notice of completion is a letter informing you that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is on its way out to be discharged. However, until you receive the letter of discharge or certification for eligibility of discharge the bankruptcy is still going through the court system. During this time your attorney and bankruptcy trustee are still the legal professionals assisting you with your bankruptcy. If you are wanting to get a new loan or something similar you will still need to discuss this with your Chapter 13 trustee as well as your attorney, because as we mentioned before your bankruptcy has not been discharged just yet. When your bankruptcy has been discharged you can begin to rebuild your credit as you see fit or as you have been instructed.
If you are interested in being debt free or just have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our firm. The best way to avoid dismissal in your bankruptcy case is to ensure that your case has been discharged and the best way for that to happen is for you to let our attorneys help you with your bankruptcy. Call today at (602) 262-4357 or fill out our online form to get a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys today!