Much of the story is missing. When did you file Ch. 7, and is the case still open ("finished" is not a legal term)? Is the landlord suing for claims that arose before or after the date you filed Ch. 7? If the lawsuit was pending when you filed, you not only should have identified the lawsuit in the appropriate schedules (as a pending suit and asset), but the landlord should have been listed as a creditor. It does not matter whether you knew the outcome. The easy thing to do is call your BR lawyer to discuss. If you are doing all this without lawyers, it explains why it appears both cases may have been mishandled.
Certainly if you defaulted on the lease before filing bankruptcy, that debt should have been discharged, even if the creditor wasn't listed, if you are a "no-asset" chapter 7--that is, if the ch. 7 trustee took nothing of yours to pay creditors. Have your attorney file a "suggestion of bankruptcy" in the small claims court, or just notify the landlord or his attorney.
You may need to file much more than just a notification or suggestion of bankruptcy in the small claims court. You need to contact your bankruptcy attorney and provide all the details regarding the claim against your landlord and the counter claim against you. The schedules you signed and filed in your bankruptcy are to list ALL of your assets and ALL of your liabilities. Your claim against your landlord is an asset and the counter suit is a liability. You should amend your bankruptcy schedules to include the unscheduled asset, the unscheduled debt and the unscheduled lawsuit. Failure to list a known creditor “your landlord” could result in that debt not being discharged.
You need to contact your bankruptcy attorney about making some amendments.
Nels Hansen is a bankruptcy lawyer in Austin Texas and accepts clients in Austin, Georgetown and Pflugerville. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code and have done so proudly since 1996. The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.