Even when you work with a bankruptcy lawyer to file a Chapter 7 or 13 petition, you have to be prepared to go over the details and ensure you really understand what is going on with your case. The good news is that a lawyer can ensure your case is filed following the fairly strict requirements for bankruptcy. Our firm helps you understand how to complete the mandatory credit counseling before you file. Not completing that counseling is one top reason bankruptcy cases are dismissed.
Another common mistake we can help you avoid is clerical errors on your paperwork. You should never sign your paperwork without reviewing it, but we can help you understand all the details and why they are important. We'll also review your documents to make sure they are consistent and complete, keeping you from the risks of a dismissal just because something was left out.
One thing we can't help with is ensuring you provide us with an honest, accurate representation of your financial information. We'll work with you, providing template forms and asking questions to try to uncover anything that you might have forgotten. However, if you don't disclose certain assets or debts, we can't properly include those in your bankruptcy process. That could lead to a dismissal or complicated issue down the road.
A final mistake individuals make when dealing with bankruptcy is missing meetings or hearings. You don't always have to be present at every meeting, and we'll let you know which meetings require your presence. The meeting of creditors - which is usually just a meeting with your trustee - is critical and you must be present. If you are not present, the trustee will usually file to dismiss the case.