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When bankruptcy debtors do not file all of the documentation required by federal law, they face the dismissal of their bankruptcy case under § 521 of Title 11, also known as the Bankruptcy Code.
The “automatic dismissal” provisions under 11 U.S.C. §521(i) may apply to any bankruptcy case. An assigned trustee must review each case to determine whether the debtor has complied with all filing requirements set forth in 11 U.S.C. §521(a)(1) to the trustee’s satisfaction.
The trustee must file an electronic statement with the court that provides: “The information required by 11 U.S.C. §521(a)(1) as provided by the debtor(s) in this case is complete to the satisfaction of the trustee. No creditor or another party in interest has filed a request for an order of dismissal pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §521(i)(2) and the trustee does not believe that this case is subject to automatic dismissal pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §521(i).”
A chapter 7 trustee must file this statement no later than the deadline established by the court for filing complaints objecting to the discharge and the chapter 13 trustee must file this statement prior to entry of an order confirming the plan.
Upon the filing of this statement by the trustee, the court shall enter an Order Determining Debtor’s Compliance With Filing Requirements of §521(a)(1) to be served on all creditors and parties in interest, stating that the case is not subject to automatic dismissal under 11 U.S.C. §521(i)(1) or (2).
If any creditor or party in interest has any reason to contest the court’s finding that the debtor has filed all information required by 11 U.S.C. §521(a)(1), this party must file an objection to the order not later than 21 days from the date of entry of the order, and serve such objection on the trustee, the U.S. Trustee, the debtor and the debtor’s attorney, if any. This objection must specifically identify the required information and document(s) that the debtor has failed to file.
Any creditor or other parties in interest served with the order who does not file an objection within the 21-day deadline set forth above waives the right to file a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case for the debtor’s failure to comply with 11 U.S.C. §521(a)(1).
If the trustee has determined that the debtor has not met the filing requirements of §521, and the court has not otherwise waived or extended the deadline for filing, the trustee must file a motion to dismiss the case no later than the deadlines established for filing the trustee statement.
The trustee assigned to a converted case must comply with these certification requirements by the prescribed deadlines under the chapter to which the case was converted unless the certification was filed in the prior case.