Tennessee residents who are considering bankruptcy should be aware of the importance of following the rules of the bankruptcy process. While bankruptcy is often a stressful time for those who may be struggling with overwhelming debt, this stress does not absolve the debtor from meeting their responsibilities.

In a recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a debtor was unable to pay the standard court fee. She had requested that the court provide her with a payment plan, which it did. However, the plaintiff did not make the final payment in the plan, nor did she appear before the court when requested to explain why the payment had not been made.

Eventually, she did make the payment, but the case had already been closed by that time. She petitioned the court to have her original case reopened, but the court declined to do so, noting that court processes and policies exist for good reasons. In addition, the court did not wish to normalize a debtor’s unwillingness or inability to meet commitments.

Individuals and couples who are considering bankruptcy may benefit from speaking with a bankruptcy attorney. The lawyer may be able to review their case and make recommendations regarding various types of debt relief, including Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

An attorney may also be of assistance during the bankruptcy process, particularly if the client requires additional help in understanding court procedures, obtaining a payment agreement to cover cost fees or runs into difficulty meeting court ordered obligations. By clarifying matters, legal assistance could help the client save money.