Depending on a debtor’s financial condition and reasons for filing, the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection may outweigh the benefits. The timing of the filing may be very important, and those considering bankruptcy should be aware of the following:
1. Filing for bankruptcy protection is not free.
2. Within 15 days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition, schedules of the debtor’s assets and liabilities must be filed with the Court. Failure to timely file the appropriate schedules will result in a dismissal of the bankruptcy case, and may bar the debtor from filing again for 180 days.
3. Not all debts are dischargeable. For example, most tax debts, most domestic support obligations and most student loan debts are not dischargeable.
4. The submission of fraudulent information, or commission of certain acts by the debtor can also be grounds for the denial of discharge of an individual debt, or for the denial of the discharge of all debts, and can also give rise to criminal charges.
5. In some instances, transfers of property and/or payments made to general creditors within ninety days prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition, and/or relatives within one year prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition, are subject to being recovered by the bankruptcy trustee.
6. If the debtor is seeking to discharge utility bills from a utility company currently providing service to the debtor, the utility company may terminate services if the debtor does not pay a reasonable security deposit or provide other adequate assurance of payment within 20 days of the filing of the bankruptcy petition.
7. Depending on the timing of the filing of the bankruptcy petition, and what chapter of bankruptcy is filed, the debtor can be required to turn over state and federal tax refunds may be collected to the bankruptcy trustee.