What happens if I forget to list a debt in my bankruptcy, or because I didn’t know I owed it?
In a Chapter 7 case, an omitted creditor is still discharged in the bankruptcy provided the case is a "no asset" case. A no asset case is one where there are no assets available to liquidate, and hence, no money to pay to creditors. In this instance, the omitted creditor is not prejudiced by not being listed in the bankruptcy, because even if they were listed, the end result remains unchanged; they would not receive any distribution in the case. While it is not necessary to reopen a Chapter 7 case post discharge to add an omitted creditor, it is recommended that a certified copy of your discharge be sent to the affected creditor so they have notice of the bankruptcy filing and subsequent discharge of their claim against you.
Compare this to a Chapter 13 case where a distribution has been proposed under the terms of the Chapter 13 plan. In this instance, an omitted creditor is prejudiced by not being listed in the original filing, because had they been listed, they would have shared in the distribution to unsecured creditors. Debtors who find themselves in this situation should have the bankruptcy case amended to add the omitted creditor so they can share in any distribution. A creditor claim that has been omitted and not provided for in the Chapter 13 will survive the entry of discharge and the debt will still be collectible against the debtor.
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