Filing for bankruptcy throws one’s debts into question in front of a Bankruptcy Court, one’s attorney, and one’s creditors. If one has passed the Means Test and is qualified to move forward with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the dischargeability of one’s debts is generally not in dispute. Throughout the process of bankruptcy, however, questions and concerns are can arise from all parties involved. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides legal advice and assistance to those filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.
In some chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, non-exempt assets (assets one is not able to protect with one’s bankruptcy exemptions) are liquidated and the sale proceeds are used to pay some dividend to one’s creditors. The good news is that, in most cases, all of one’s debts are discharged, leaving one permanently free of many crushing financial obligations. However, sometimes creditors may have a legal basis to file a non-dischargeability complaint against a debtor under 11 U.S.C. §523. This means that sometimes a creditor has a good reason to ask a bankruptcy court not to grant a debtor debt relief as to a particular debt.
A complaint filed about the legitimacy of the discharge of one’s debt is technically a lawsuit and it is labeled an “adversary proceeding”. If a creditor files a non-dischargeability compliant, one will be given a summons and the process will take place partially by mail and partially in the bankruptcy court. The complaint is served on the defendant and the defendant has the right to respond in his or her own defense (and with the help of an attorney). Some examples of grounds justifying a non-dischargeability complaint are: 1.) One has incurred significant debt on a credit card within a short time before filing a bankruptcy; 2.) One has misrepresented one’s financial condition, either verbally or in writing, to a lender and the lender has made a loan relying on the misrepresentations; 3.) One has willfully and intentionally caused financial injury or physical injury to someone.
If a creditor has filed the complaint without proper legal standing, or if the complaint is unclear to one as a debtor, one may file a motion to dismiss the claim or force the creditor to provide a complaint with more specificity. Complaints filed against fraudulently incurred debts or other scenarios, as listed above, must be identified correctly and clearly or one may file a motion to dismiss the complaint.
Responding to a clearly defined complaint against the dischargeability of a debt requires an answer to each paragraph of the compliant provided by the creditor. The help of a bankruptcy attorney during this response time is crucial for one to have optimal access to legal information and to assert one’s rights as a defendant. If one does not respond to the complaint, the case will proceed by default, and the debt in question will be excepted from discharge.
For more information about a non-dischargeability complaint and why it’s important to take advantage of the help an attorney can provide during this time, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200. You can also count on us for advice and assistance if you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Luverne, MN.