What if you forget to list a creditor in your bankruptcy?

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What if you forget to list a creditor in your bankruptcy?

You’ve filed your bankruptcy case and realize that you forgot to list one or more creditors on your bankruptcy papers.  

What happens now?

The answer varies depending on where your case is filed and what chapter of bankruptcy was filed, as well as some other factors.

Failure to list debt not always fatal in bankruptcy

In the 9th Circuit(which includes California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington and Nevada, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam) if your case was a No-Asset Chapter 7bankruptcy in which no assets were liquidated and sold by the Trustee, and you receive your discharge, there is no consequence for unintentionally failing to list a creditor.  

Thus, if you get your discharge, you are discharged from ALL dischargeable debtsregardless of whether they were listed or received notice of the bankruptcy.  

The two main cases on this are In re Neilsen, 383 F.2d 922 (9th Cir. 2004) and In re Beezley, 994 F.2d 1433 (9th Cir. 1993).  

If the creditor in question has grounds to object to the discharge of the debt– for example, if the debt was incurred through fraud– they can still move to reopen the Chapter 7 case and litigate their nondischargeability claim if they received no notice of the original bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 11, Chapter 13 case or in a Chapter 7 case where assets are being distributed by the Trustee, the failure to list a creditor is more serious and can result in that debt not being discharged.

If your case is filed outside the 9th Circuit, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area regarding the law in your jurisdiction.

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By | 2016-10-18T13:35:46+00:00 September 23rd, 2009|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, chapter 11, chapter 13, chapter 7|2 Comments

About the Author:

Attorney Mark Markus has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in Los Angeles, California since 1991. He is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, AV-Rated by martindale.com, and A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau. Google Plus

2 Comments

  1. Credit Solutions February 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    What happens if a debtor forgets to list creditors on their bankruptcy papers?

  2. tripplaw January 5, 2010 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Is there a program or pamphlet that I can use to help someone do a bankruptcy? I am a semi retired attorney and have never done a bankruptcy for anyone and would like to give it a try.

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