Question #1: How does a Las Vegas bankruptcy case start?
Answer: Your attorney e-files it with the court. The moment it’s e-filed, the case is live and the automatic stay goes into effect.
Question #2: How does a Las Vegas bankruptcy case end?
Answer: Hmmm…….let’s see…..
Actually, it’s a bit of a trick question as there are 4 ways a bankruptcy case might end:
1. Discharge: Discharge is the typical result and the one you’re aiming for if you’re a debtor. It means that the court has cleaned your slate and in most cases you’re off the hook for all or most of your debts. Getting the discharge is the main reason people file for bankruptcy. When a judge grants a discharge, that marks the end of the case.
2. Dismissal: If your case is dismissed by the judge, that means you did something wrong, whether intentional or unintentional. A bankruptcy case can be dismissed for procedural reasons such as the case not being filed properly or having mistakes in the petition. Or a bankruptcy case can be dismissed based on the substance of the case. Perhaps you tried to hide some of your assets away. Or you engaged in some sort of fraudulent action. Discharges happen much more frequently than dismissals, but a statistic like that doesn’t matter when it’s your case and you’ve done something that merits a dismissal.
3. Voluntary Dismissal: A Chapter 13 debtor who suddenly loses her job or gets a pay cut and can no longer make the agreed upon payments as part of the Chapter 13 repayment plan may decide to dismiss their own case.
4. Conversion: Often if a debtor is having trouble making payments on their Chapter 13 case, they may convert it to a Chapter 7 and go the liquidation route. If this happens, then the conversion (which requires a judge’s approval) ends the Chapter 13 case (and begins the Chapter 7 case).