Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you are required to list all of your creditors in your bankruptcy petition. Typically, you will provide your attorney with those names, addresses and account numbers in written form, and you will authorize your attorney to obtain your credit report to double check that all creditors have been included.
What happens if your case is filed, you receive a discharge, and months or years later, a creditor surfaces, claiming that it was not listed in your petition and seeking to collect its debt?
If you live in New Jersey, you may be protected against such a claim. The Third Circuit held in the case of Judd v. Wolfe held that in a no asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, unlisted debts are still discharged, and that the debtor would not need to take any further action. “No asset” means that you do not have significant, unexempted assets and that the trustee has released his or her interest in your assets. The creditor would be subject to sanctions if it persisted in attempting to collect its debt after receiving notice that you received a discharge.
In the event of a Chapter 7 asset case, you would need to reopen the case and amend your petition to include the omitted creditor. That creditor would then have all of the rights afforded to it under the bankruptcy code, and could file a proof of claim and seek a share of your assets.
Please give us a call if you would like further information.