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Common Reasons for Bankruptcy Petition Denials and Discharge Denials

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court where you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 has the power to deny your petition at any stage of your case. A judge can also prevent you from obtaining a debt discharge at the conclusion of the bankruptcy process, even for a debt that is normally considered to be dischargeable.

Some of the common reasons people receive bankruptcy denials include:

  • Giving false information with your petition
  • Filing an incomplete petition or one that does not include necessary supporting forms or documentation
  • Failing to pay required court fees
  • Failing to complete mandatory credit counseling
  • Having had a previous bankruptcy petition dismissed within the prior 180 days due to fraud or violation of a court order or procedure

One of the benefits of working with a bankruptcy attorney is receiving a professional review of all application materials and guidance about how to avoid mistakes that could derail the petition.

A court may deny a debt discharge at the request of a creditor or the bankruptcy trustee. Common reasons for debt discharge denials include:

  • Fraud — The court can deny a discharge if you hid assets, transferred property, misrepresented your assets or debts or took any other actions that resulted in an inaccurate petition or that unfairly placed dischargeable debt liability back on creditors.
  • Insufficient documentation — Failure to provide comprehensive financial records or to explain unexpected losses of assets during the bankruptcy process can give a debtor grounds to seek a discharge denial.
  • Failure to cooperate — Disobeying a court order or participating nominally in the bankruptcy process without fulfilling all of your legal duties may result in you maintaining responsibility for debts that would otherwise be erased.

Whichever party seeks the discharge denial will need to file a complaint with the bankruptcy court, stating the alleged grounds. It is possible to fight the denial in court and maintain your right to a discharge. One of the best ways to avoid a denial is to be thorough and honest with yourself and your attorney from the moment you get started with the bankruptcy process and throughout all steps of liquidation or repayment.

From our offices in Scottdale, Marietta, Douglasville, Gainesville, Lawrenceville and Athens, the experienced Georgia bankruptcy lawyers of Jeff Field & Associates advise and represent Metro Atlanta clients. To schedule a free legal consultation with one of our debt relief attorneys, call 404-381-1278 or contact us online.

More on this topic:

Common Reasons for Bankruptcy Petition Denials and Discharge Denials

How Does Bankruptcy Discharge Affect Your Credit?

Can Unlisted Debts Still be Discharged in my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Timing Matters When Determining Dischargeability of Tax Debts

Nondischargeable Debts


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