I forgot to list some debt on my bankruptcy schedule. Thought I had everything. Now a couple of medical bills under $300 each have been sent to collection agencies. How do I handle this? My discharge was in December 2007.
I understand that your question is whether you can list debts you incurred prior to your bankruptcy case being filed but that were not listed in your bankruptcy paperwork. There are a number of options that you can pursue to resolve this issue. However, be advised, you may only include debts in your Chapter 7 that were incurred prior to the filing date of your bankruptcy case. If the debt was incurred after your case was filed, then you will be responsible to repay these debts notwithstanding your bankruptcy filing. Here are some options if the debt was incurred prior to your bankruptcy filing in December, 2007:
1. Re-open your bankruptcy case. Depending on the local rules in the district you filed your case in, you may be able to re-open your bankruptcy to include the additional medical debts. Re-opening your bankruptcy case usually involves the filing of a motion with the bankruptcy court in which your case was filed. If you desire to pursue this option, I recommend you contact your bankruptcy attorney you retained to file your case. If you filed without an attorney, I recommend you contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area to assist you.
2. Contact the creditor(s). Sometimes, if you contact the creditor(s) and advise them of your bankruptcy filing and provide the creditor(s) with your filing date and bankruptcy case number, the creditor will stop collecting on the debt. If the creditor agrees to stop collecting, it is in your best interest to request verification in writing from the creditor.
3. Negotiate the debt. If hiring an attorney proves too expensive and the creditor refuses to stop collecting, you may want to negotiate the debt with the creditor(s). Sometimes, creditors will agree to accept 50 cents or less as a settlement on the debt. However, be sure to consult a Certified Public Accountant to discuss the tax ramifications (if any) on settling the debt for less than what you owe.
Best of luck. (This is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice)