Help! I Received a Deficiency Memo- Does This Mean My Bankruptcy Has Been Thrown Out?

bankruptcy court blogIf you have recently filed bankruptcy, you should be checking your mail regularly for notices from the court and your bankruptcy trustee. A common notice bankruptcy filers receive is a deficiency memo. Our clients often call us in a panic when they receive the memo. Depending on how your case was filed, receiving this notice shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

                A deficiency memo will typically be titled “Notice to Filer of Errors and/or Deficiencies.” It will also specify if your case was filed electronically. There are a few boxes available to be checked that will explain why you are receiving the notice. The checked option may read something along the lines of, “Document filed is incomplete. . .”

                A standard bankruptcy requires many documents to draft, like tax returns, paystubs, identification, vehicle registrations, divorce and child support documents, bank statements, and so on. Some filers need the automatic stay of protection provided by bankruptcy before they can produce these documents. In this case, they will typically file an emergency/skeleton petition. This petition requires far fewer documents than a standard petition. The court will give you two weeks to submit your full petition after filing an emergency/skeleton petition. This means you intentionally filed an incomplete bankruptcy petition. If this is the case, you shouldn’t worry unless you received the notice AFTER your second petition is filed.

                If you are using a Zero Down Bankruptcy program, whether or not it is an emergency situation, your case will be emergency/skeleton filed. This is to satisfy the requirements of bifurcation, a process explained in our Zero Down articles. As with emergency cases, this notice shouldn’t be cause for concern unless it is received after your second petition is filed.

                Check your notice carefully if you didn’t file emergency or Zero Down bankruptcy. The deficiency will need to be addressed promptly to ensure your case isn’t dismissed. You should contact your attorney as soon as possible. If you are filing pro se, or unrepresented, you should have a consultation with an attorney. Your attorney should be able to fix the mistake and get your case reinstated.

                Bankruptcy is a complicated process, and receiving a deficiency memo is just one of the many obstacles you may encounter. If you are considering bankruptcy, know you don’t have to do it alone. Our office offers free consultations, affordable prices, and Zero Down payment plan options. We go the extra mile to make bankruptcy accessible for everyone. Call to schedule your free consultation today.