In 2005 the Bankruptcy Code was revised, and most of the changes were not for the better. The changes came about as the result of creditors lobbying for tighter filing requirements, and more of a crackdown on repeat filers that were viewed as abusing the system. The system in place today looks at your income as it relates to your secured debt, and if the pre-set calculation shows you have any left over money each month to put towards your unsecured debt you will be “forced” to file a Chapter 13 case and pay back some of what you owe to credit cards and other unsecured loans. For most people, this is not the preferable method of bankruptcy, and a Chapter 7 is desired. A Chapter 7 eliminates unsecured debt, but does require payments to still be made for secured items like your car or house if you want to keep them. Another part of the initial review of your case when filing is whether there is a “presumption of abuse” in your filing. If so, the trustee make object to your petition and ask that the entire case be dismissed. No one wants to have their case thrown out, and still owe the debt they are unable to pay, so avoiding charges of bankruptcy abuse is a serious concern.
Two ways you can avoid being charged with abusing the bankruptcy laws include:
- Make sure you wait the required amount of time in between filing cases, if you are in need of filing a subsequent case.
- Provide all of the information necessary to file your case to your attorney, leaving out nothing. Every source of income you have must be reported, and every debt you owe should be provided to your attorney when your case is prepared. If you have given all the information about your finances to your bankruptcy attorney, and have honestly answered questions concerning your pay, chances are you will not be the target of a possible abuse claim.
The key is to be thorough, and to provide accurate information. We can help you by identifying what information is needed to file, and providing a checklist for what documents to bring to Court.
If you have questions about bankruptcy, let an experienced attorney help you. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.