When you file for bankruptcy, you need to tell your Trustee who your creditors are and how much you owe. Your Trustee then informs all of your creditors about your bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful time, but it’s important to try and remember everyone you owe money to.
What happens if you forget to list a creditor?
Perhaps you had an old cell phone bill and forgot about it until you tried to get a new one. This is obviously an honest mistake and can be dealt with. Simply contact your Trustee with the information. Your Trustee will inform your creditor and as long as you are still in bankruptcy the debt is included.
If you are already discharged from your bankruptcy, it becomes a bit trickier. The creditor you forgot about is entitled to the same share of money in your bankruptcy as all of your other creditors. For example, if your creditors received 5 cents on the dollar, you will have to pay the new creditor 5 cents on the dollar. Most bankruptcies have little or no money paid to the creditors, so this is rarely an issue.
Notifying creditors to stop collection calls
Forgetting a creditor can however, have implications on your credit report. The credit bureaus get their information on your credit report from you, your creditors and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. If the creditor was not on the initial bankruptcy papers, the creditor is not notified of the bankruptcy, so they may continue to list the debt as a bad debt. Even worse, they may continue to contact you. If you receive calls from your creditors after filing, notify your trustee and they can confirm that the creditor was notified. After your bankruptcy is completed, get a copy of your credit report and confirm that all creditors have included the debt in your bankruptcy, and notify the credit bureau if there are any errors.
When you sign your bankruptcy papers, you are declaring that they are true to the best of your knowledge. If you intentionally left someone off your list of debts, you may find yourself explaining your actions in courts.
For most people, leaving a creditor off is an honest mistake. If is still important to try and get your list of debts as accurate as possible. You can do this by getting copies of your credit report from both Equifax and Transunion before your file. Not all creditors report to them, but many do. If there is an change to your list of debts, make sure you let your Trustee know.