Although most Chapter 7 cases move smoothly through the procedures established by the Bankruptcy Courts in the Northern District of Georgia, sometimes problems do arise. At Ginsberg Law Offices, we will stand behind you if a problem arises. Our best strategy, of course, is to avoid problems in the first place.
You can help us avoid most Chapter 7 problems by providing to us a full and complete disclosure about your assets, income and recent financial actions. Most Chapter 7 problems arise when a debtor (bankruptcy filer) forgets to tell us about events involving money. Examples of the type of “money events” that may create problems include:
- a recent raise
- a one-time bonus you received in the last year
- money that someone owes you
- a personal injury, workers comp, Social Security or other claim that you are pursuing
- an injury claim that your spouse or someone else who lives with you is pursuing
- any transfer of a house, car or other asset to a friend or relative within the past year
- a repayment of a loan to a friend or relative in the last year
- someone else owns property, but your name was added to a bank account or deed for estate planning purposes
- you co-signed a loan for a friend or relative and forgot about doing so
Some of the problems arising from money events like the ones listed above can be solved easily – simply by disclosing the event. In other cases, we may have to look at converting your case to a Chapter 13 or allowing your case to be dismissed.
Although it is rare if we plan your Chapter 7 properly, a creditor might object to your Chapter 7 case if you ran up a lot of credit card bills in the six months to a year prior to filing. Or, your bankruptcy can be challenged if you misrepresented your financial affairs in a personal financial statement.
If a creditor does object, we can usually negotiate a partial payment plan for that particular debt. You also have the opportunity to convert your case to a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Remember that as your law firm, we consider anything you tell us privileged information. You should be completely open and honest with us. If there is a problem that would prevent you from receiving a discharge in a Chapter 7, we are better off discussing that problem before we file rather than afterwards.
It should go without saying that you should never try to engage in fraudulent behavior while in bankruptcy. Examples of fraud include filing a case using a false Social Security number or name, or quit-claiming property back and forth to stop a foreclosure. Those types of activities are criminal and can land you in prison.
As noted above, most Chapter 7 cases wind their way through the bankruptcy system without any problems at all. As long as you extend your best efforts in providing us the information we request, there is a very good chance that you will be happy with the results of your Chapter 7 case.