Sometimes Debtors Get a “D” for Effort, Explains Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney

May 5, 2013 1:47 pm Published by

Sometimes it helps to use true case histories from Consumer Bankruptcy News to help explain to Bankruptcy in Indiana readers the logic behind Indiana bankruptcy law. Today’s story shows the “human side” of the bankruptcy court, and about a man who, despite having made some mistakes, was actually rewarded with a “D” (standing for bankruptcy discharge) for his efforts.

Many people have the mistaken idea that all that's needed to file bankruptcy is filling out a bunch of forms, paying a fee, and submitting the paperwork to the court. Sounds simple and cost-saving, doesn't it? Unfortunately, that description is very far from the realities of the bankruptcy world. In bankruptcy, it’s important to tell the truth about what you own and what you owe, what money you transferred to other people and what money they may have transferred to you. In short, tell the truth and tell it all. That's true whether it's bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana, Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Indiana, or even small business bankruptcy in Indiana

One crucial aspect of my work as a bankruptcy lawyer involves helping clients prepare Official Bankruptcy Forms. What I find is that even clients who have every intention of reporting their assets honestly need expert legal help in properly completing those forms. The consequences of omitting important facts are dire – debts might be deemed forever non-dischargeable through bankruptcy, and there could be fines for failing to correctly provide the required data.

But what the story I’m sharing with readers today shows is that the bankruptcy judges understand that people aren’t perfect, and that even if the information isn’t as comprehensive as it should be, if the debtor and the attorney left out some significant details, a good faith effort will be rewarded. Here’s what happened in this North Dakota case:

  • Cecil A. provided a lot of information about his financial affairs.  He didn’t make all the disclosures he should have, and he “didn’t provide the information to the trustee in a manner that the trustee would have liked”.
  • However, Cecil admitted that he had made some errors.  He had provided “voluminous information”.
  • Because of those two factors, the court ruled that Cecil had not “knowingly and fraudulently” deceived the court, and allowed Cecil’s discharge of debts to happen.

Despite this very favorable ruling in North Dakota,, as a debt consolidation lawyer who’s been offering Indiana bankruptcy help for more than 26 years, I must say it’s not a good idea to count on every incomplete or incorrect bankruptcy petition getting such lenient treatment.. When I see billboards or hear radio ads touting “Half price bankruptcy”, I want to remind the public that Indiana bankruptcy courts set guidelines for filing and other fees involved in filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana, and it’s best to have professional experience on your side when preparing the paperwork!


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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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