Importance of Providing Accurate Information in Your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules

I have previously written about how important it is for debtors to provide their bankruptcy attorneys with accurate and complete information. Debtors have an absolute obligation under the Bankruptcy Code to disclose their assets, liabilities, and income to the bankruptcy court. Once in a while, a debtor may forget a creditor or overlook an old debt. Not every debt appears on the credit report either. When a debt is omitted from the bankruptcy petition, under the Bankruptcy Code, there are several possible solutions.

Initially, if the debtor realizes that debt was overlooked during the bankruptcy, the debtor is required to file amended schedules and identify the creditor. If this happens, the bankruptcy attorney should be notified and he will amend the schedules.

If a pre-bankruptcy debt is discovered after the bankruptcy case has been closed and discharge granted, there are a couple of possible options. In some situations, it will be necessary to request that the bankruptcy court reopens the bankruptcy case and discharge the debt. In other situations, especially in no-asset Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases, the debt is considered discharged as a matter of law, even though it wasn’t listed in the schedules. Finally, some types of debt, such as student loans, cannot be discharged under most circumstances and will survive bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy courts expect the debtor to provide full and complete disclosure of both assets and liabilities. In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy asset cases and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, an omission matters a great deal since listed creditors receive payments through the bankruptcy court. If a debtor deliberately fails to list a creditor, that debt is likely to be declared non-dischargeable and will survive the bankruptcy. Under appropriate circumstances, courts have denied the debtor a bankruptcy discharge because of the debtor’s intentional failure to list all debts or revoked already issued discharge.

If you contemplating filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a Rochester, NY, bankruptcy lawyer.

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