Each year, thousands of people initiate bankruptcy procedures. Unfortunately, many of these individuals don't truly get the most out of the process, either because they do not complete the requirements, or because they do not have proper guidance to help them identify nuances in the law that can work in their favor.
This principle applies to creditors, too. Recently, a bankruptcy court ruled that a creditor could not pursue repayment because they did not file a claim in the proper timeframe.
It's this kind of inattention to detail that can make or break a bankruptcy (or, save you thousands of dollars if the mistake is on the part of a creditor).
Attempting to navigate bankruptcy on one's own is rarely the wisest choice. By the time that most people arrive at bankruptcy, they are carrying a great deal of emotional and social stress, and this often leads to details slipping through the cracks. In most cases, the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney yields better results and removes a great deal of pressure from the shoulders of the debtor.
The rules are not very negotiable in bankruptcy
If there's one thing that you must remember when considering a bankruptcy, it's that courts place a great premium on following the rules throughout the process. A debtor or creditor who goes to great lengths to abide by the guidelines of the process and meets all their obligations is far more likely to experience a successful bankruptcy than those who do not.
In the case mentioned above, a couple sent proper notice of bankruptcy to a secured creditor, but the creditor failed to respond by filing a claim for what the couple owed in the proper timeframe. Secured creditors are not required to file proof of every claim, but they must file their claims within the allotted time.
When the deadline passed, the creditor attempted to file a proof of claim and the court denied it. It is worth noting that the law does contain a number of exceptions when a creditor may file late claims or proofs of claim, but these did not apply to the creditor.
Get the help you need to succeed
If you're ready to file for bankruptcy, it is wise to get help rather than attempt it on your own. The plight of the late-filing creditor perfectly illustrates just how important it is to follow the rules exactly, and there are many, many rules.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the full scope of your options and walk with you through the process to ensure that your rights remain safe while you rebuild your financial life.