You might agree that the best part of a bankruptcy petition is that it entitles you to an automatic stay. Thus if you file a bankruptcy petition, your creditors will be automatically prevented from pursuing collection actions against you. However, if you are not vigilant enough while your Chapter 13 petition is in court, your bankruptcy petition will be easily dismissed by the bankruptcy court. This means that your creditors become automatically entitled to pursue their claims against you. Certainly, not a place you would want to be in.
If you have tried to read and understand bankruptcy law, you will agree that it is quite complex and the way it is drafted, there’s quite a lot of legal jargon out there. If you miss a step by oversight or lack of knowledge, you land in a soup. Once your bankruptcy petition is in the court, here are a few basic things you will need to ensure:
• After filing the petition, you will be given a fixed period to file additional documents to support your case. If you fail to file the supplementary documents in the limited period granted, your case can be dismissed.
• Along with your initial petition, you will be required to submit a repayment plan. The court will watch whether you make at least one payment in accordance with the plan within the first 30 days of filing the initial petition. If you don’t, the court will refuse to award you any protection and can dismiss your case.
• After about 45 days of your filing, a creditors’ meeting will be organized. The meeting may or may not be attended by your creditors, although they are required to. Nevertheless, make sure that you attend the meeting. At this meeting you will be required to affirm the truthfulness of the facts stated by you in your petition. If you fail to show up at the creditors meeting, your bankruptcy petition can be dismissed.
Once your bankruptcy petition is dismissed, you automatically lose the court’s protection blanket against your creditors. You will have to wait until you file a second petition, which unfortunately cannot happen before 180 days of dismissal of the first petition.