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Your bankruptcy petition could be denied. Here are some things to consider to make yours is not denied.

1. The timing of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition matters

One of the ways that your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can be denied is if the timing of your filing is wrong. The general rule is that if you have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past and received a discharge, you must wait 8 years from the date of the earlier filing to file again. Similarly, if you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past and received a discharge, the waiting period is 6 years.

Having filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past 8 years does not prevent you from filing other types of bankruptcy, however.

2. Chapter 7 bankruptcy income requirements

You may not have realized that in order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet the income requirements first. The income eligibility requirements are based on what the median income is for a family the same size; if your median income is less than that of the median household, you are eligible to file Chapter 7.

However, the court will also consider what your income is after certain expenses are deducted: someone above the median income might still qualify after deductions are made. To determine whether your household meets the income eligibility requirements, consult a qualified Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.

3. Omissions by mistake and fraudulent Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s important to make sure that you include all of your debt in your petition; only the debts listed in your petition will be discharged.

If you forget to list a debt on your petition, your paperwork can be amended to include the debt up to a certain point in the bankruptcy process. If, however, you purposely omit financial information (such as failing to disclose the income earned from a second job where you are paid in cash) or take steps to hide assets (such as hiding assets in an account in another person’s name), your bankruptcy discharge will be denied on the grounds of fraud.

To make sure that all of your debts are included in your petition and that you are not engaging in fraudulent activity when disclosing your financial information, seek the advice of a bankruptcy specialist.

4. Chapter 7 may not discharge some of your debts

While generally bankruptcy petitions are approved and discharge entered, there are circumstances where a specific debt may be excepted from discharge, while your other debts are discharged. The most common example of when this occurs is when the person filing bankruptcy excessively uses a line of credit in the three months before filing. Excessive use of credit right before filing bankruptcy can make it appear that you are taking advantage of the possibility of debt discharge. To prevent this, consult a bankruptcy specialist who is familiar with partial debt discharge.

5. The wrong bankruptcy attorney can cause your bankruptcy to be denied. Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.