5 Reasons a NJ Bankruptcy Discharge May be Denied

The desired ending to filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey, or in any state, is a discharge of most of your significant debts. To have your debts discharged means to have them “wiped out” or erased. All debts that are discharged via bankruptcy are no longer your responsibility.

A bankruptcy discharge gives struggling debtors a chance to start over with their finances by presenting them with a (completely or partially) clean slate. While it is usually not possible to eliminate all debts in a bankruptcy because some debts are nondischargeable, the discharge of some or many of your debts can be extremely helpful in getting back on the path toward financial stability.

If you have found yourself buried under a pile of debt that you cannot even imagine pulling yourself out of, filing for bankruptcy is probably the best option for you. Debtors who are struggling to even make minimum payments and sustain their lifestyle desperately need help turning things around.

By working with an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney, you will have a much better chance of having your debts discharged at the end of your bankruptcy case. It is ill advised to attempt to file for bankruptcy without the help of a professional. NJ bankruptcy paperwork is copious, and it is easy to make an error in filing the proper documentation at the right time and to the proper institutions.

If the court denies your bankruptcy case in bad faith, your case will be dismissed. This means that you will not benefit from having any of your debts relieved. You are also prohibited from filing for another bankruptcy for at least 180 days. Because of this, it is crucial that you work closely with a bankruptcy attorney prior to filing and during your case. Your attorney will be able to advise you properly regarding situations and actions to avoid so that your case is not dismissed.

Working with an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney will ensure that you avoid:

  1. Failure to meet the New Jersey bankruptcy eligibility requirements
    You can read about the NJ bankruptcy requirements here.
  2. Incorrectly submitting bankruptcy forms
    Although it may sound insignificant, failure on your part to properly complete any of the required forms within 14 days of your original filing date may lead the court to dismiss your case before it even gets started.
  3. Omitting important bankruptcy documentation and/or information
    This leads the bankruptcy court to suspect that you are being dishonest. You must be completely transparent in order to receive a bankruptcy discharge. If you fail to tell your attorney about property or assets that you own, your case may be dismissed on the grounds that you filed for bankruptcy in bad faith.
  4. Bankruptcy fraud
    This one almost goes without saying, but some people don’t realize exactly what bankruptcy fraud entails. There are many different ways to commit bankruptcy fraud, but in general, if you hide anything or lie on your bankruptcy petition (or in a hearing) – not only will your case be dismissed, but you will potentially face significant fines and even jail time.
  5. Failure to take credit counseling course
    Before your bankruptcy discharge, you will be required to take an approved credit counseling class. This must occur within the 180 days immediately prior to filing for bankruptcy. Failure to take this course will result in your bankruptcy case dismissed.

Because it bankruptcy discharge can positively impact your life so significantly, don’t waste the potential life-changing experience by making disastrous mistakes. Be sure that your bankruptcy paperwork is in order, that your behavior is up to snuff with the bankruptcy court, and that nothing is omitted from your petition. The only way to guarantee all of these things is by working with a successful New Jersey bankruptcy attorney.


Image: “Fraud Key” by Jake Rustenhoven – licensed under CC 2.0


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