Case Dismissed without Discharge?
You’ve done your whole case and do not have a chapter 7 Discharge because your attorney forgot to tell you that you are required to do a Debtor Education Course. The Debtor Education Course is also called a Financial Management Course. You must file a Financial Management Course Certificate with a coversheet called Official Form B23 prior to the end of your case. If you do not, your case is dismissed, but not discharged. That means that your creditors start coming after you again just like before your case started. They go back to suing you, garnishing your wages, levying your bank account and so on.
Is there anything you can do?
Of course there is, there are at least a couple of options, the first is to file a new bankruptcy case. No this is not the best option, it’s merely an option. Why pay in full over again for a whole case. So, try the second option, if you haven’t waited too long, then reopen your case and file the form. Reopening the case while not overly complicated, can also be done quickly in most cases. A couple came in last Friday, and they had their Discharge Order the following Thursday, today.
To reopen your case I must file a motion with the court, and request a 30 day extension for you to get your Debtor Education or Financial Management Course Certificates filed together with the Official coversheet or Form B23. Most judges will sign the order with their eyes closed unless you’ve waited an extremely long time. However, I’ve seen them routinely granted for cases where the case has been closed less than 4 to 6 months.
Unless you’re my client and you can prove to me that you didn’t know about the requirement to complete the course, then you’ll have to pay me to reopen the case, upload the order and upload the certificates. There is a $260 filing fee (at this writing) and the attorney’s fees for the rest of the work is $500 per case.
If you can prove to your attorney that he or she never told you about the requirement, then he or she should maybe reopen it for you. However, even if your attorney forgot to tell you about it, the Bankruptcy Court itself sent you a notice explaining the requirement. So, you’d have to be able to prove that your attorney didn’t tell you and that you moved and that your attorney knew that you moved and that your attorney knew that the notice was sent from the court and at the same time that he hadn’t sent in a change of address for you and on and on. In addition, many of the Bankruptcy Trustees will explain it to you at the hearings. So, pretty much, you will have to pay the fees to reopen the case. Often the attorney’s fees to reopen cases are high. Some attorneys charge as much as $1000 or $1200 to reopen your case.
Call me Attorney David Nelson 951-200-3613, we’ll get it done fast and affordable and get you your Fresh Start. Creditor phone calls and harassment will stop again, law suits and wage garnishments will go away. I’ve been a bankruptcy lawyer in Murrieta and Temecula area since 1994. I love getting people out of debt. But don’t wait too long, if you’re in this situation, call immediately because procrastination will hurt you if you do not get your discharge completed, creditors get to keep whatever they can collect from you before you get it done.