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Common Reasons for Bankruptcy Case Dismissals

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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 so that notices can be served. This list is separate from your schedules and is provided in a txt file format. 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, review the Clerk's Instructions for Preparing, Submitting and Obtaining Service Matrices.

2. Failure to Submit Social Security Number

You must submit a statement about your social security number (Official Form 121). 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, review Local Rule 9011-4(C).

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. Payment must be made in the form of money order, cashier's check (no personal checks accepted) or exact amount in cash if filing in person. You can review Filing Fees and Acceptable Forms of Payment or Local Rule 1006.1 for more information.  If you do not pay your fees on time or obtain a waiver of the fees, your case may be dismissed. 

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 at the Bankruptcy Basics Video: Part 5 - Meeting of Creditors and  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 is available under Bankruptcy Requirements. 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, you can review the following: Bankruptcy Basics Part 4 - Filing for Bankruptcy and Local Rule 1007-1 (D) Consumer Credit Counseling.

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. For more information on this requirement, review Local Rule 5005-1(C) Deficienct Petitions and Papers.

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.  For additional information on this requirement, Local Rule 3070-1 Chapter 13 Payments.