Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

Can A Creditor Really Force The Court To Reopen Your Bankruptcy Case?

Law Articles

When you receive a discharge from the bankruptcy court, your case is generally considered done, and you can move on to the next phase of your financial life. Unfortunately, sometimes a creditor has a problem with the outcome of the case and will file a motion to reopen it. Here's what you can expect should that happen.

Reasons Creditors Would File a Motion to Reopen

There are a few reasons why a creditor would want to reopen your bankruptcy case, and they all have to do with attempting to get more money from you or your estate. A creditor will file a motion to reopen if:

  • It is discovered you have assets that were not administered by the court. For instance, you receive a payment from a personal injury case that was not declared in the listing of assets.
  • The creditor was not (or at least claims it wasn't) notified of the bankruptcy proceeding. Bankruptcy law affords creditors certain rights, and the court must allow them the opportunity to exercise those rights.
  • Significant mistakes were found on your bankruptcy petition.
  • The creditor believes you obtained your discharge fraudulently.

The bankruptcy trustee can also request to have your case reopened for the same reasons. Therefore, it's essential you make sure you dot all your Is and cross all your Ts when managing your bankruptcy case.

Consequences of Reopening Case

After the creditor files the motion, the court will usually set a date for the creditor to make his or her case for reopening the bankruptcy petition. If the court grants the motion, the outcome of reopening the case will depend wholly on the reason the creditor made the request in the first place.

If the creditor requested the case be reopened because you failed to list some of your assets, the trustee will then require you to update your bankruptcy schedules to include the missing assets. If the asset is not covered by a state or federal bankruptcy exemption, then it may be confiscated by the trustee, liquidated, and the resulting funds distributed to your creditors.

About 21 to 40 days after you file for bankruptcy, a meeting of creditors is typically scheduled where creditors are allowed to question you about your finances, the condition of any property part of a secured loan, and your intentions regarding how you plan to handle your debts. Creditors are also able to object to the bankruptcy plan if you filed for a chapter 13, which would cause you to negotiate with them to resolve the problem. Creditors who were not notified of your bankruptcy filing may be provided the opportunity to do these things. Unless the creditor uncovers missing assets or fraud while questioning you, it's unlikely anything will change the outcome of your case.

The worst thing that could result from reopening your case is the court will revoke your bankruptcy discharge. This may occur if the creditor can prove you knowingly committed bankruptcy fraud to get your debts discharged by the court.

There are several things that may be considered bankruptcy fraud including:

  • Purposefully failing to list assets or attempting to hide assets
  • Filing bankruptcy in another state to get around laws mandating how soon you can file a second bankruptcy case
  • Intentionally putting false information on bankruptcy forms
  • Bribing a trustee to obtain a preferred outcome

If a creditor can provide credible evidence of bankruptcy fraud, the court will likely reverse the discharge and you'll be back at square one with your debts. You may even face criminal charges depending on the facts of the case.

It's essential you contact a bankruptcy attorney as soon as you receive notice that a creditor wants to have your case reopened. An attorney can advise you on the best way to handle this situation to ensure your rights are protected and avoid an adverse outcome. Click here for more information.


31 March 2015