By Rachel Lynn Foley, Esq.

March 23, 2015 

Patience is a Bankruptcy Virtue

Time is fleeting...


especially when you attempt to become debt free. Although you did not accumulate debt overnight, you probably want to achieve from debt overnight. The bottom line is you need to kick the overnight concept to the curb.


The only time you want to rush a bankruptcy filing is if and only if you have a true emergency.  Situations qualifying for an emergency filing may include foreclosures, repossessions, divorces, and garnishments.  But normally an emergency bankruptcy filing is not recommended if you truly wish to discharge your debt.


There can be many hidden traps for those who rush to file.


If you do not list everything you own, you take a chance on losing it all or having your discharge denied.  You see, the trustee can request to take your stuff and not allow the exemptions if he/she feels you are deliberately trying to hide anything of value from the court.


If you are impatient when filing the requested documentation, you may forget to list a creditor. Depending on your district, if you fail to list a creditor in a no asset Chapter 7, the debt to the creditor may still be discharged.  But if you have an asset case, meaning there are items to sell, the court could deny a discharge with respect to your debt associated with that creditor because they were not able to be paid by the trustee.  Another scenario in a Chapter 7 is if the creditor wants to file a Motion to Determine Dischargeability in your case and you prevent this by not placing that creditor on notice.


In a Chapter 13, if you do not list the creditors, you cannot discharge a debt to them.  Slow and steady definitely wins the race in listing ALL of your creditors. You want to list all creditors you think you may owe. If you owe for a hospital visit, you want to verify the doctors who treated you and which practice (business) they belong, the lab company the hospital uses and the emergency room group if one was used.


You want to carefully review your budget and income. Read your bank statements so you will know what your spending habits are and how they can change. Review your pay statements so you know how much money you are making compared to what you are spending each month.


No matter what you have accomplished, each segment of your life has taken time. You did not learn to walk or run overnight. You did not learn how to ride a bike or drive overnight. Even Rome and the world itself was not created overnight.


Overnight is truly OVER RATED. The bankruptcy process can be overwhelming, especially when you want the stress of debt to stop. Being patient while working with your bankruptcy attorney will you have listed everything and everyone you are required to list to obtain a fresh start.


Remember, knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have regarding the benefits of a fresh start, the more power you will have to remain patient during the process.