Failing to list all of your creditors during your bankruptcy case might mean that you cannot discharge the debt, especially if you intentionally omit a creditor. If the case is ongoing, you can amend your bankruptcy Schedules to include an additional creditor. However, fixing your mistake is trickier if you have already completed your bankruptcy and your debts have been discharged. You may be responsible for the debt to your missing creditor.
Chapter 7 and No-Asset Cases
If you discover a missing creditor after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, your liability may depend on whether you had a no-asset case. In a no-asset bankruptcy, the trustee does not liquidate any assets because they are all exempt, and your debts are still discharged. So, a bankruptcy court may rule that the debt from an omitted creditor in a no-asset case is already discharged because the creditor would not have received money from the bankruptcy. Most Chapter 7 cases in Texas are no-asset cases. However, this ruling does not apply if the creditor has a debt that is considered non-dischargeable, such as child support, alimony or certain taxes.
Chapter 7 and Asset Cases
If your assets were liquidated during your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court may assume that an omitted creditor would have received some compensation during the case. You cannot discharge the debt without reopening the bankruptcy case, which is a complicated procedure that some courts do not allow. Without a discharge, you may be liable for the entire debt.
Just like in Chapter 7, you can amend your bankruptcy Schedules to add a creditor. Because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a repayment plan that takes years to complete, you may be able to revise your repayment plan to include a new creditor. However, if it is after the deadline for creditors to file claims, there are some additional steps that you would need to take to be able to include the creditor in your repayment plan.
It is in your best interest to identify all of your creditors when filing for bankruptcy. Forgetting a creditor may hinder your ability to absolve you of your obligation. Debts can take many forms, including:
- Home and vehicle loans;
- Credit card bills;
- Personal loans;
- Student loans;
- Medical bills;
- Utility bills;
- Criminal fees; and
- Child support payments.
You should consult with an attorney if you are unsure whether someone qualifies as a creditor. A Frisco, Texas, bankruptcy attorney at The Page Law Firm can help you identify all of your creditors before you file for bankruptcy. Schedule a free consultation by calling 214-618-2101.