Bankruptcy cases often involve language and concepts that are unfamiliar to most people, and some of the terms involved may lead to confusion. Under the bankruptcy laws a discharge and a dismissal are terms and concepts that mean completely different things and can have different consequences for your case. A bankruptcy discharge is the answer to eliminating debt for most people while a dismissal means the case is dismissed by the court and no discharge will be given.
For most individuals the goal of a bankruptcy case is to get a fresh financial start, and if a dismissal of your case is issued then a new financial beginning will not be provided by the bankruptcy court. When a case is dismissed then the bankruptcy process ends, and this is possible in any case regardless of the chapter of the bankruptcy law that the case was filed under. There are many reasons why the bankruptcy court may dismiss a case, and this may mean starting the entire process over again from scratch.
Possible Dismissal Causes And Consequences
Common reasons that can cause a dismissal of your case can include mistakes on any of the forms that must be completed, missing forms or incomplete financial information provided, failing to claim income or assets in your case, failing to meet the repayment plan schedule in chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and many others. Anyone who is caught committing bankruptcy fraud in any way will also usually see the case dismissed by the bankruptcy judge, and then criminal or civil penalties may apply if fraud was committed.
Every bankruptcy chapter of the bankruptcy code will have specific requirements that must be met for you to file under that chapter. There are also some requirements that must be met before you file for bankruptcy protection and after the case has been evaluated, such as credit counseling to ensure that you make the best possible use from your fresh financial start.
If a dismissal is entered in your bankruptcy case then you will not get any debt relief or a discharge for the debts that you owe and listed in the court documents. The bankruptcy laws are complicated and even a small little mistake could cost you the discharge that you want and need if a dismissal is entered in your case.
The Desired Bankruptcy Discharge Can Wipe Most Unsecured Debt Clean
A bankruptcy discharge is provided in most cases when a bankruptcy case is successful and the debtor has met all of the conditions imposed by the court. A discharge will eliminate any unsecured debt that qualifies for this process. When a discharge is issued then you no longer owe the debt and the creditor can not take any action in the future to report or try and collect on the amounts and accounts that are discharged.
The bankruptcy judge in the case will determine which debts qualify for a discharge, and secured debts such as home loans and vehicle loans will not typically qualify for a discharge. There are some other debt types that may not be discharged, such as child support, spousal support, and certain unpaid tax debts as well as specific other debt types. Both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases can receive a discharge as long as the court requirements are met but the process is different depending on which chapter of the bankruptcy code you file your case under.
A chapter 7 bankruptcy case may require 6 months to 1 year before the judge orders a discharge for the qualifying unsecured debt. You must pass the means test to qualify for chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, and this chapter eliminates most types of unsecured debts completely without any type of repayment schedule.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy case can take from 3-5 years to complete before the bankruptcy judge issues a discharge for your unsecured debts. A payment plan will be set up by the court after determining your income, assets, debts, and exemptions. You will make the scheduled payments to the bankruptcy court for the repayment period, and after the required period set by the judge has passed any unsecured debt amounts that qualify will be eliminated through discharge.
The bankruptcy laws and requirements are complex. The bankruptcy attorneys at Richard West Law can help with a free debt consolidation consultation so that you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances. Visit https://www.debtfreeohio.com or call (513)771-8700 or (937)748-1749 to get the answers you want, and the financial relief you are looking for.