15 Feb What If I Forget One of My Creditors In My Bankruptcy?
Many people filing bankruptcy worry about not listing a long forgotten creditor in their bankruptcy case. They fear that if the debt isn’t listed in their case, the creditor will have the right to pursue them for payment. This is not necessarily true.
11 U.S.C. 523(a)(3) states, generally, that a debt that is not listed in a debtor’s schedules is not discharged if the unlisted creditor has a claim for fraud, theft, or a willful or malicious act against the person filing bankruptcy, or where the creditor could have received a distribution of monies by participating in the case. The fact is that these circumstances don’t exist in the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases. In a Chapter 13 case the discharge is granted only for debts provided for in the Chapter 13 plan. Therefore, it is important that all creditors are listed in a Chapter 13 case.
Occasionally a creditor will attempt to collect a debt after a bankruptcy case is over, and assert that because the person filing bankruptcy failed to list them, they get to collect the debt. (See Can Creditors Collect after the Discharge). If this happens to you, you should contact your attorney right away so that he or she can send the creditor a letter explaining what your rights are, and demand that they immediately stop collecting the debt from you.
Clearly, the best thing is to avoid the stress of dealing with an unlisted creditor after a bankruptcy. Getting a credit report before you file bankruptcy can be very helpful in ensuring that you list all your creditors. (See Free Credit Reports!!!) to learn how to get a credit report free of charge. It is important to note that your credit report may not contain all the creditors who have claims against you. Many times medical providers don’t report to credit reporting agencies, and it is also possible that certain debts can be missing from your report temporarily.
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