In the Bankruptcy Alphabet, “A” stands for abuse of bankruptcy. Clients frequently ask me if their bankruptcy case is going to be approved by the Court. My answer is yes, as long as they follow the rules of the court.
I write this today having just read that the Bankruptcy Court has dismissed the Chapter 13 case of T-Boz, the female rapper, who filed a case after incurring $768,000 in debts. Apparently, she failed to attend her Meeting of Creditors and failed to make her required Chapter 13 plan payments. So, her Judge dismissed her case with prejudice, which means that she cannot file a new bankruptcy case for 180 days. In the meantime, her creditors will be able to pursue her and she will be unable to obtain bankruptcy protection.
Without writing a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts for bankruptcy court conduct, the cardinal rule is to simply disclose information concerning income, assets and debts to your attorney. The failure to disclose can lead to your case being dismissed (serious omissions can lead to being prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud, but that’s another story).
On the other hand, bankruptcy judges and trustees can be forgiving. Just two days ago, a Chapter 13 client of mine called to say that he was really sick and that he couldn’t attend his Meeting of Creditors scheduled for next week. No problem. I got the permission of the Chapter 13 Trustee to postpone his Meeting and filed a request with the Court to postpone the Meeting. It took me two days and the Court has already re-scheduled it.
That particular client, however, had made his first Chapter 13 plan payment, and the Trustee knew it. If you simply don’t show up for Court and you don’t make your plan payments, well, you might end up like a certain female rapper with a whole lotta debts to her name.
More on the Bankruptcy Alphabet from around the country:
Abandonment from New York Bankruptcy Attorney Jay Fleischman;
Abuse from Wisconsin Bankruptcy Attorney Bret Nason;
Advantages from Columbus Bankruptcy Attorney Athena Inembolidis;
Adversary Proceeding from Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney Kimberly Coleman;
Alimony from Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Attorney Chris Carr;
Application from Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney Christine Wilton;
Arrest from Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Attorney Bill Balena;
Ask from San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney Jeena Cho;
Assets from Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart Ing;
Assets from Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Monica D. Shepard;
Assets from Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe;
Assets from Metro Richmond Bankruptcy and Consumer Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein;
Assume from Northern California Bankruptcy Attorney, Cathy Moran;
Assumption from Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus;
Assumptions from Newnan Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney, Rick Palmer;
Assumption from Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Christopher McAvoy;
Attorney from Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Daniel J. Winter;
Automatic Stay from Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Kyle A. Lindsey;
Automatic Stay from Connecticut Bankruptcy Attorney, William E. Carter;
Automatic Stay from Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan Caldwell;
Automobiles from Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney, Bob Doig;
Amendment from Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Dorota Trzeciecka and
Avoidance of Preferential Transfers from St. Louis Missouri Bankruptcy Attorney Nancy Martin