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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2525
Experience:  Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
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Im checking to see where I stand in regards XXXXX XXXXX bankruptcy

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I'm checking to see where I stand in regards XXXXX XXXXX bankruptcy case. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last June and to be clear have all documentation of my case. I did everything required of me to complete my case, yet prior to sitting with a trustee the case was dismissed for lack of credit counseling certificate (7/8/11) and apparently 2 pay stubs needed (7/11/11). I turned both of these in to my lawyer (credit counseling service also forwarded the certificate via email) yet my lawyer didn't forward them to the court, thus my case was dismissed and my lawyer subsequently filed a motion to get the dismissal vacated and I sat with the trustee as scheduled 7/25/11. I initially had concerns and sent emails voicing them (7/19/11) that having received 2 dismisal notices there were 2 issues with my case (I was only made aware of credit counseling certificate) yet was told in email there was NO problem the dismisal was vacated and my case was back on as scheduled. I waited and waited for the discharge after sitting with Trustee but it never came and during this time kept getting calls from creditors just before year end. I relayed this and they would send a letter to creditors and it would stop for a time. My lawyer sent me a letter (3/01/12) thanking me for my business (I have this) telling me the case was fully discharged and his representation was complete and that enclosed was a discharge order from the court (he enclosed a paper from the court signed by trustee and judge).Finally I started getting calls again from my mortgage holder (home turned over to trustee) and they said their database showed case was dismissed and until updated they would keep calling. I have tried to do Deed in Leiu post discharge but it was rejected, and they are threatening to foreclose and sue for deficiancy. I called my lawyer and now low and behold he acknowledges ooops it was dismissed and he can reopen it and get it discharged. He tells me it will cost me 250.00 court fees (I paid him 1400 initally plus court fees) and I'm left wondering how this can be. I did everything I was asked to do and their screw up has left me without the bankruptcy protection I paid for, and was told erroneously/fraudulantly in that letter that this was completed succesfully. I entered into a rent to own and have maintained all my bills for the last 13-14 months to improve my credit to the point where at the end of the rent to own (5 years) I can qualify for a VA home loan and start over. I'm frustrated that this at a minimum will cost me 13 months and 250 dollars but how will this affect my ability to obtain a mortgage... I'm worried that I need to get the discharge so in essence am I forced to pay the 250.00 becuase he did my original case and has all the documentation or do I have other options and/or damages? I guess I'm wondering what my best course of action is now and future. To also reitterate I DO have ALL coorespondance emails and letters from my lawyer.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Terry L. replied 2 years ago.

Terry L. :

Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Terry L. :

Sorry to see that you have run in to such trouble.

Terry L. :

What is the reason the case was dismissed?

Terry L. :

Once dismissed,(or closed without discharge) a case can be reopened ($260 court fee).

Terry L. :

You should talk to your attorney, or call the bankruptcy court clerk to see why the case was dismissed/closed without discharge.

Terry L. :

If the attorney made a mistake, then they should cover the cost to fix the problem.

Terry L. :

If the case was dismissed for other reasons, work with the attorney to reach a compromise to resolve the matter.

Terry L. :

If you wish to do it without your lawyer, you can, or you can even hire another attorney to assist you.

Terry L. :

Keep in mind, to reopen a closed case, it is $260 to the court for their fee, on top of anything the attorney would charge you.

Terry L. :

Let me know the reason for dismissal, and I can give you further guidance.

Terry L. :

THanks

Terry L. :

Terry

Customer:

The dismisal was for the credit counseling certificate part 1 not being forwarded to the court and I just found out also for two pay stubs just prior to filing not being sent to the court. In both cases (certificate was sent to him by me and Debtorwise) the documentation was provided to the attorney but they didn't get them off to the court. After getting 2 dismisal notices I was concerned whether there were 2 seperate issues or it was just a duplicate... and I was told in an email there was no issue the case was back on.

Customer:

I emailed every time I had a concern and was told nothing to worry about.. you're good to go and like I said sent a letter saying they were enclosing a discharge that I now find never existed.

Terry L. :

I see.
so, if you can show that you had the certificate with your lawyer when they filed, the court should reopen the case no problem to get the certificate on file. If must have been completed before the case was filed. Also, if you had given your attorney the stubs, and they failed to get them to the trustee, you can argue just that in the motion to reopen the case to enter the cert and the stubs for your trustee. If the attorney had them and didn't do their job, you need to hold them accountable...and if they refuse, then you can file a complaint with the disciplinary committee in your state.

Terry L. :

Either way it will cost $260 to reopen the case, and it sounds like your attorney should pay...they should have known that the certificate is needed, and when they got the first notice, they should have taken steps to correct the mistake.

Terry L. :

The court will give you leniency if you do it on your own if the attorney messed up. They may even disgorge some attorneys fees and give them back to you! You should ask!

Terry L. :

Let me know if you have any other questions. thanks

Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2525
Experience: Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
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