Common Reasons for Bankruptcy Case Dismissals

There are many reasons why your Bankruptcy Case could be dismissed and your debts will not be discharged. Listed below are some of the more common reasons.

1. Motion to Dismiss Case (for Failure to file a complete list of creditors (mailing matrix)

When filing a new bankruptcy case, you must immediately file a complete list of creditors, including their names and addresses. This list is separate from your schedules. If this list is not filed immediately, the trustee or U.S. trustee may file a motion to dismiss your case. For more information on this requirement, including a form you can use, click here: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/mandatory-creditor-listmatrix

2. Failure to Submit Social Security Number (Official Form 121)

You must submit a statement about your social security number. This statement should be included with a new case or filed within fourteen (14) days after the case is opened. If you do not file this form on time, your case could be dismissed. For more information on this requirement, click here: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/content/statement-about-your-social-security-number. A form for submitting this information can be found here: http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/individual-debtors/your-statement-about-your-social-security-numbers

 3. Failure to pay Filing Fees

When you file a bankruptcy petition, you must pay the filing fee. Unless the court has given you permission to pay the filing fee in installments or has waived the fee, you must pay the filing fee in full within seven (7) days of filing a new bankruptcy case. If you do not pay your fees on time or obtain a waiver of the fees, your case may be dismissed. Click here for information on the fees: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Misc/Fee%20Schedule.pdf Click here for information on paying the filing fee in installments: http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/individual-debtors/application-individuals-pay-filing-fee-installments  Click here for information on having the Chapter 7 filing fee waived: http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/individual-debtors/application-have-chapter-7-filing-fee-waived Debtors may only pay filing fees with cash, cashier's check, or money order. Cash payments must be for the exact amount only. The Clerk's office cannot make change. Checks and money orders must be made payable to the "Clerk, United States Court." The Clerk's office cannot accept personal checks from debtors or third party checks.

4. Failure to attend the Meeting of Creditors

Shortly after filing your bankruptcy case, the Court will send you notice of the date, time, and location of the Meeting of Creditors (sometimes called a 341 meeting). You are required to attend this meeting. If you filed a joint petition with your spouse, he/she must also attend. If you do not attend this meeting, your case may be dismissed. More information on the Meeting of Creditors can be found here: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-attorneyhttp://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-attorney and here: http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-7-bankruptcy-basics

5. Failure to obtain credit counseling prior to filing for Bankruptcy

Individual consumer debtors must obtain credit counseling from an approved provider within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy. The U.S. Trustee’s Office listing of approved credit counseling agencies for the Middle District of PA is available at the following link: List of Credit Counseling Agencies Approved Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111. You must file your certificate of credit counseling with the court. If you do not take an approved course within the required time or do not file the certificate of credit counseling, your case may be dismissed. For additional information on this requirement, click here: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/credit-counseling-warning

6. Failure to File all Required Documents

If you are missing any required statements or schedules, the Court will send you a notice of missing documents. Typical missing documents include: the complete list of creditors, all schedules, the statement of financial affairs, the statement of monthly income (or means test), and Employee Income Records ( or pay stubs) or a Certification of no payment advices if you are not employed. If missing documents are not filed timely, your case may be subject to dismissal. Additional information is available here: http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-7-bankruptcy-basics and here: http://www.pamb.uscourts.gov/when-you-file

7. Failure to Make regular Plan Payments in a Chapter 13 case

If you have a Chapter 13 case, plan payments must be made to the trustee in a timely manner as outlined in your Chapter 13 Plan. If these payments are missed, the trustee may file a motion to dismiss the case.