Bankruptcy Filing Pitfalls

North Oak Professional Park
3034 Mitchellville Road
Bowie, MD  20716

(301) 390-9060 - Phone
(301) 390-9080 - Fax

  • Have you completed the required credit counseling course?

  • Have you filed all tax returns for the past four (4) years?

  • Did you list all of the income you receive?  This includes:  Full-time and Part-time wages, disability benefits, child support, help from family members, rental income, SSI payments, annuity and retirement benefits, interest and dividend income.

  • Did you include the money you contribute to your retirement plan as income?  Money regularly contributed to your retirement plan is considered income that is available for the payment of your debt.

  • Did you list all household income?  This applies to all persons living in the house (spouses, sisters, brothers, parents, children, etc.), whether or not they filed bankruptcy with you.

  • Did you file bankruptcy with too much equity in your home?  If so, the trustee will look into selling your home to pay your debts.


  • If you own your home with your spouse, filed a bankruptcy case without your spouse and have joint unsecured debt, the trustee may sell your home to pay that joint debt.

  • If you sold or transferred any property within three (3) years of filing, the trustee can undo the sale and collect the profit for the payment of your debt or require that you pay the debt back up to the value of the profit you received.

  • When you filed bankruptcy, where you current on your mortgage and/or car payments?  If not the mortgage and/or finance company may still be able to take your house or car.

  • Did your disclose all real property (homes, land) owned by you, including, trailers and timeshares?  If not, you may have more assets the trustee can look to sell to pay your debts.

  • If you used more than $12,000.00* (Maryland) for your exemptions on Schedule C, you used to much and all of your assets are not protected. *Check your State for allowable exemption amounts.

  • Did you use the tax assessment value to value of your home?  If so, you may have seriously undervalued your home and the trustee will look into its sale for the payment of your debt.

  • Will your car be paid off in less than 2 years?  If so, you may have equity in that car that the trustee would look for to pay off your debts.

  • Did you remember to list any home, car, bank account or other asset that you co-signed with another person?  Even if another person co-signed for you?

  • Did you file bankruptcy in the right State?  If you haven't lived at your address for more than four (4) months or own other property or run a business in the State where you filed, you may not be eligible to file bankruptcy in that State.

  • Are you having too much in taxes withheld from your pay?  If so, that money will be counted as income and required for payment toward your debt.

  • Have you given monthly living expense amounts (Schedule J) that are over the acceptable standards?  If so, the trustee will reduce your expenses, which will increase your income and force you into repaying your debts.

Of course, this is not a complete list of mistakes made when filing bankruptcy, but if you believe you have made any of these mistakes in filing your own bankruptcy, you need help.  Call me and arrange for a consultation right away!