Filing bankruptcy in Las Vegas is not as simple as waving a magic wand. It’s an involved process that requires serious preparation and counseling on the part of your bankruptcy lawyer. In particular, your attorney will have to prepare a lot of paperwork and file it on a timely basis according to the deadlines established in the federal bankruptcy code. These “duties” consist of documents the debtor must file and other obligations the debtor has. The most important ones are listed in § 521(a) of the code [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/521], and they include the following:
(1) Filing a list of creditors and schedules of assets and liabilities, income and expenditures, statement of financial affairs, copies of payment advices, statements of monthly net income, and a statement disclosing “any reasonably anticipated increase in income or expenditures” in the 12-month period after filing – This information is the “meat” of the bankruptcy petition, failing to file them may result in delays or dismissal of your bankruptcy case.
(2) Completing any redemption or reaffirmation agreements regarding secured properties within the appropriate time periods – For instance, if you have a loan secured by your car, you can either redeem it by paying off the loan, or promise the lender that you’ll make good on the loan so long as it’s removed from the bankruptcy estate.
(3) Cooperating with the Trustee and any auditors assigned to the debtor’s case – Obstructing the Trustee or stonewalling an auditor will result in serious consequences to your case.
(4) Surrendering all property belonging to the bankruptcy estate, including all documents related to it, to the Trustee and any auditors assigned to the debtor’s case
(5) Appearing at the hearing concerning whether the debtor’s debts are discharged – According to § 525(d) of the bankruptcy code [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/524#d], the Bankruptcy Court can choose to hold a hearing to tell the debtor why his or her debts are or are not discharged. If the judge decides to hold this hearing, the debtor must appear.
(6) Delivering to creditors any secured property that isn’t protected by a reaffirmation agreement or redemption agreement – the debtor isn’t allowed to hold on to secured property if he or she chooses not to meet either of these conditions
(7) Performing the obligations required of administrators of an employee benefit plan – If at the time of the bankruptcy filing, the debtor was acting as the administrator of an employee benefit plan, he or she must continue to do so unless the Trustee takes over
As you can see some of these debtor’s duties are more involved than others. For example, it’s usually more difficult to make sure all the proper paperwork is filed than it is to simply cooperate with the Trustee and auditors. However, although § 521 has more duties the debtor is obligated to follow, the ones listed here appear first and are the most important. To ensure your Las Vegas bankruptcy runs smoothly and all these duties are properly fulfilled while maintaining your rights, it’s important to hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.