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Avoiding dismissal with prejudice in bankruptcy filing

People in South Carolina who have declared bankruptcy might take a lesson from the rapper 50 Cent. After filing for bankruptcy, he posted a photo of himself on social media with a stack of money. A woman who won a $7 million lawsuit against the rapper saw the photo and informed the bankruptcy court.

50 Cent's response to the bankruptcy court was that being photographed with certain things did not mean that a person possessed those things. While the court eventually reached a decision that prevented 50 Cent's bankruptcy case from being dismissed, the incident is a reminder that people filing for bankruptcy should avoid what appears to be ostentatious displays of wealth when they are claiming to be in severe debt.

Having a case dismissed with prejudice is one of the potential consequences. If a case is dismissed without prejudice, this generally means that there is an honest error, often procedural in nature, and the person can refile again immediately in order begin to get relief from debt collection. A dismissal with prejudice suggests a deliberate deception and possibly even fraud, and a person cannot immediately refile.

An attorney may be able to help guide a person through the process of filing for bankruptcy and avoid procedural pitfalls. The level of detail and precision required in bankruptcy paperwork means that an even an honest filer might make errors while trying to file on their own. An attorney may also be able to discuss various options such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This permits a person to work out a payment plan and keep some assets such as their home.

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