Four Ways You Can Damage Your Own Bankruptcy Case

Posted on: 6 September 2016

Getting your application for bankruptcy approved is a big step in the right direction, but it's up to you to stay on course. When you handle your case carelessly, an approval can quickly turn into a dismissal. Make sure you know what mistakes to avoid to ensure your bankruptcy stays on track.

Court Fees

The court fees associated with bankruptcy aren't just a suggestion. They are mandatory. Depending on the type of bankruptcy that you have applied for, the fees can range between $275 and $335. When submitting your application, the courts will tell you exactly when this money is due. If you fail to pay at the required time, your case will be dismissed. If for some reason you can't afford the fees, you have to request a waiver from the courts.

Credit Counseling

The goal of bankruptcy isn't just to give you a fresh start, but also help you learn how to make better financial decisions going forward. For this reason, you are generally required to complete a credit counseling program as part of the process. These programs are generally web based and are very easy to complete. However, if you do not complete the course by the deadline, your case will be dismissed.


When it comes to bankruptcy, the courts aren't just going to take your word for it. Every statement you make up must be backed up with documentation. This documentation generally includes account statements, pay stubs and tax returns, but all trustees have different requirements and what is required can vary widely. If you fail to provide this information, the courts and the trustee can't accurately analyze your situation and come up with a solution, typically resulting in a dismissal.


A quick way to damage your case is to fail to make payments. When you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in exchange for keeping your property, you must make predetermined payments to your creditors. This legally binding agreement must be adhered to. Missing even a single payment puts all your efforts at risk. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't make your payment, it's imperative that you speak up right away to see what your options are.

When it comes to avoiding these mistakes, your bankruptcy attorney is going to be your best source of information. Ensure you are following all directions provided by the courts and your attorney and don't hesitate to ask questions if you are confused about any of the processes.