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Bankruptcy Court Strict Deadlines – Pro Se Debtor Case Dismissed

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A debtor without counsel (pro se) filed a Chapter 13 petition.   The trustee objected to the Plan for several reasons.    The debtor was told that he had 14 days to file an amended Plan and was explained what needed to be done.

The debtor advised the Court that he did mail the amended Plan on the 14th day to the Court, but neither the Trustee nor the Court received the Plan.   The case was dismissed.

The debtor’s main frustration with his appeal was that he was held to the same standard as an attorney while not having equal access to the tools and knowledge of an attorney.

When the debtor received the dismissal, he immediately filed amended schedules and appealed the ruling to the Bankruptcy Appellant Panel.

Outcome:   Dismissal Decision Upheld

Debtor knew the documents that needed to be filed.   If the debtor had any doubt that the documents would not arrive within the 14 days, he should have been hand delivered to the Court.

Pro se individuals are held to the same standard as attorneys.    Filing requirements and deadlines are necessary to an orderly bankruptcy process.

Bankruptcy is a specialized area of law for even an attorney and most definitely complex for a debtor to handle without an attorney.