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Appeals Panel Upholds Dismissal of Pro Se Debtor’s Bankruptcy Case

A federal bankruptcy appellate panel recently released an opinion addressing an appeal filed by a pro se debtor who challenged the dismissal of his case. The appellate court found that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the man’s claims on appeal, but it addressed them anyway, holding that a federal bankruptcy judge did not abuse his discretion by dismissing the man’s bankruptcy case after his failure to submit the required accompanying documentation and schedules to the court after filing for bankruptcy.

Law BookThe Debtor Attempted To File for Bankruptcy Without the Help of an Attorney

The appellant in the case of In re Dan Lee was a man who filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year, and he did so without hiring an attorney to prepare his bankruptcy petition. As a result, he filed the petition without ensuring that the required accompanying documentation was submitted with his filings.

After the initial filing, the court notified the man that he needed to file certain schedules and declarations with the court within a specified amount of time. The man did not comply with the request, and his case was dismissed after the deadline set by the court had expired.

The man appealed the bankruptcy court’s decision, continuing to represent himself throughout the appeal. The panel of federal judges hearing his appeal found that he did not follow the correct procedural requirements for them to review the challenged order, but they decided to address the man’s claims, recognizing that he was angry and felt he had suffered an injustice when his bankruptcy was dismissed. The appellate court found that he never filed the documentation that must accompany a bankruptcy and that the lower court had given him a more than reasonable amount of time and notice to come into compliance. Since the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the man’s case, he will be unable to seek the benefits of federal bankruptcy protection.

Bankruptcy Law Can Be Complicated, and It May Be Difficult to Successfully Prepare a Bankruptcy Without Legal Assistance

The United States Bankruptcy Code often appears more complicated than it should be, and it probably is, since older laws and requirements often remain in force as new rules are added to the code. The assistance of a skilled bankruptcy attorney can help debtors be sure that they are filing under the proper chapter of the bankruptcy code and also ensure that they have the required information and documents ready before filing, since some of the documents may may not be obtainable after filing within the required time period. Bankruptcy representation is not always expensive, and debtors should enlist the help of a skilled attorney. It may be tempting to handle your bankruptcy alone to save money, but as the debtor learned in the case discussed above, going it alone may be more trouble than it’s worth, especially if your bankruptcy is ultimately rejected, and the time and work has been spent in vain.

Effective Bankruptcy Representation May Be More Affordable Than You Think

If you are troubled with debt problems and considering bankruptcy as a means of relief, a skilled and effective bankruptcy attorney at Kruger & Schwartz can assist you in presenting a bankruptcy petition that is accepted by the bankruptcy court so that your credit goals can ultimately be met. We understand that people considering bankruptcy are in a difficult financial position. Our services come at an affordable price and with reasonable payment conditions. Call 866-366-3328 or contact us through our website to schedule a risk-free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Debtor Is Denied All Relief after Making False Statements in Bankruptcy Petition, Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers Blog, published October 28, 2016.

First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms False Oath Charge Against Bankruptcy Debtor, Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers Blog, published November 10, 2016.

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