When you file bankruptcy you are required to list all of your creditors. Therefore, you should take the time to make sure all of your creditors are on your bankruptcy petition. However, in many cases, this is easier said then done. This is due to the fact that the debt might have gone to a collection agency, or may have been sold to a third party. If a Debtor fails to list their debt in a Chapter 7 case, then a few scenarios arise. Below is a discussion on what might happen in these instances.
If you filed your Chapter 7 case, are awaiting discharge, and the find out that you forgot a creditor, then your solution is simple. With the help of your Attorney, you can amend your Schedules to list the creditor. You must also make sure the creditor is notified of your bankruptcy.
After Discharge, Case Closed, No Asset Case
If you find out that you forgot to list a creditor after your case is closed, then you must first give notice of your bankruptcy discharge to your creditor. They might not have known that you filed bankruptcy. Next you need to determine whether or not you have a no asset case. A no asset case is a bankruptcy case where the trustee did not have any assets or property to liquidate for the benefit of your creditors. If your case is a no asset case, then all you need to do is give notice to the creditor. If the creditor continues to try and collect on the debt, then you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. If the creditor’s debt is dischargeable, then you and your attorney could file for sanctions against the creditor in the bankruptcy court.
After Discharge, Case Closed, Asset Case
If your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an asset case, then unsecured creditors that were not listed on your bankruptcy petition can attempt to collect on their debt. While they can only collect from non exempt assets, this means that they can still garnish wages and put levies on your bank accounts. In this instance, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney immediately to determine whether or not there are options, including the possibility of getting the debt discharged.
For additional information read the case: In Re Gilbert G. Beezley, Debtor.gilbert G. Beezley, Appellant, v. California Land Title Company, Appellee, 994 F.2d 1433 (9th Cir. 1993)