Serial Filings by Debtor Without Lawyer End in No Discharge of Two Debts

20 Apr Serial Filings by Debtor Without Lawyer End in No Discharge of Two Debts

A Kansas debtor can NEVER discharge debts to two objecting creditors, according to a recent decision by Judge Dale L. Somers in In Re Lina Buchanan Guebert, Case No. 07-41165, D.Kan. Bankr. April 2008.

The harsh order was the result of a long history of at least 12 bankruptcy cases in 12 years by Guebert. Judge Somers ruled Guebert acted with bad faith and exhibited a pattern of defiant conduct, satisfying a two-prong test for forever barring discharge under 11 U.S.C. 329(a). He described Guebert and her husband as intelligent and articulate people who are skilled at using the bankruptcy stay as a “sword to thwart enforcement of the creditors’ legal rights”.

Guebert represented herself. She was assisted by her husband who attempted to represent her but the Court refused to allow him to do so. In her serial filings, she failed to pay her filing fees, she didn’t show up for hearings, she didn’t make chapter 13 plan payments, she didn’t file her paperwork, she didn’t file her tax returns, and she filed bankruptcy cases over and over to stop collection by Kansas Credit Union and Caremark. She was barred by filing bankruptcy for 180 days, but she filed anyway. She was given money sanctions and didn’t pay them.

The result could have been worse for Guebert. The chapter 13 trustee tried, but failed in his attempt, to get a court order denying discharge of all the debts and for automatic dismissal of any new bankruptcy filings by Guebert.

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Jill Michaux has helped Kansas consumers with debt problems for three decades. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only bankruptcy specialists, board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification. She help start the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

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