When you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, you must list every person that you owe money to, including friends and family members. The law does not allow you to pick and choose which creditors to include in your filing. In fact, intentionally omitting certain debts from your case could result in it being dismissed, fines imposed or even imprisonment if you are found guilty of bankruptcy fraud. But what happens if you accidentally forget to list a creditor?
If you discover your omission before you have obtained discharge, you typically can file an amended schedule to include the excluded debt. Certain procedural requirements must be met, so your discharge will be delayed. Still, it is better to include the debt and have no question it was discharged.
If you have received your discharge when you discover the omitted debt, depending on the law in your jurisdiction, the process may be more complex. Your attorney may seek to re-open your case to include the debt. This procedure is more time-consuming and expensive. It is important to note, however, that some jurisdictions consider debts not included in your filing to have been discharged as well. If this is the case, then your attorney can simply send a letter to the creditor with a copy of your discharge order.
To learn more about the bankruptcy process and how it can help you, contact The Koplen Law Firm for an initial consultation.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, contact The Koplen Law Firm. Our attorneys strive to provide quality representation effectively and efficiently and to ensure that you achieve every legal benefit available. When you retain the services of our law firm, you can be confident that your case will get the personal attention and care that it deserves. We serve residents of the Hudson Valley area of New York, including Rockland County, Orange County, Putnam County and Westchester County.