How do I reopen a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? 32 Answers as of July 22, 2011

I have a creditor trying to sue me after I included them in my bk. My bk has been discharged, how do I reopen?

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
File a motion to reopen. Talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney. I generally do this without a retainer and seek to recover my fees from the creditor who is breaking the rules.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
If they were included and the debt was discharged then you should send a copy of the Bankruptcy Petition showing them listed and a copy of your declaration of discharge along with a Motion to Dismiss to the Court and Attorney.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 7/21/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
You should consider if the debt for this creditor is one that is allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy, as some debts are not dischargeable. If it is a debt that qualifies under the discharge, and you in fact received a discharge in your chapter 7 AND you listed the creditor on the creditor list, then you should only need to supply them a copy of the discharge, which would suffice in resolving the matter. If you forgot to list the creditor, but nevertheless, received a discharge in a "no asset" case, then you may still have the discharge applied to the debt even though the debt was not listed. this is not the case, and you in fact need to reopen for some reason, you would need to file a motion to reopen the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
Law Office of Asaph Abrams
Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
For practical purposes, if they are not acting in deliberate bad faith, it should be sufficient to re-notice them directly of the bankruptcy: refer to the case no. and discharge order. Creditors are imperfect. Reopening a case to pursue sanctions requires attorney assistance.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
Engberg Law Office
Engberg Law Office | Harry A. Engberg
You can defend in State Court by showing that the debt is discharged. You do not have to reopen the case to sue the creditor for federal damages in Bankruptcy Court for contempt of Court.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 7/15/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    You need to pay filing fee and file a motion to re-open the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC | Dennis J Sargent Jr.
    To reopen a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to file a motion to reopen. Normally you would file the motion to reopen when you file your motion for the discharge violation.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    Have the attorney that represented you in the bankruptcy send them a letter with the discharge and their specific debt, and remind them of the sanctions that can be levied by the court for violations of the bankruptcy laws. This is typically all that is needed, if necassary you may need to file for sanctions against them.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Talk to your lawyer and stop trying to handle this yourself. As a general rule, you don't reopen the case. Also, in most cases, you will be able, if you properly scheduled the debt, collect legal fees from the creditor for violation of the discharge. A good lawyer can do that (at least sometimes) with a letter. So don't mess this up. See a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    File form and best to hire attorney
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf | Sheryl S. Graf
    It doesnt sound like you need to reopen your case as all your debts were already discharged upon conclusion of your bankruptcy case. Your creditors cannot sue you for a debt you no longer owe. Filing for Bankruptcy automatically stays collection activity, including commencement of a lawsuit to recover a claim, as well as any other act to collect a debt that arose prior to filing the Bankruptcy case. Penalties for violating the automatic stay can be severe. Bankruptcy courts have the power to order a creditor who "willfully" violates the stay to pay attorneys fees, costs, and punitive damages under 11 U.S.C. 362(h). Possibly the creditor you mention is not aware of your bankruptcy filing. You may want to contact them, preferably in writing, with your bankruptcy case number, the date filed, and the district your case was filed in. If a lawsuit has been filed against you, you should ask for confirmation that a dismissal has been filed in that action. If the creditor continues to contact you in an attempt to collect, then you should contact an attorney to stop this and to protect your rights. I recommend that you contact a knowledgeable attorney for specific advice. The information presented here is general in nature and should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    You do not reopen the Bankruptcy. You give notice to the creditor who is suing that they were discharged in bankruptcy. If they do not comply and continue to pursue you, you can get the case dismissed and you can file a counter claim or separate action for Fair Debt Collection Practices against the Collector and violations of Federal Bankruptcy Law against the Creditor. You hold the cards. Do not reopen unless there is some flaw in the filing that I do not know about. The creditors actions, if they are aware of the bankruptcy are entirely illegal.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    You don't need to reopen your bankruptcy. Merely file an answer in the lawsuit asserting the affirmative defense of discharge in bankruptcy, and attach a copy of the discharge to the answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    You don't have to reopen and the court will not entertain such a motion if they are an unsecured creditor and the debt existed at the time you filed bankruptcy. It is automatically discharged along with the rest of your unsecured creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    If the creditor was included simply provide them with youir discharge. It is illegal for them attempt collection of a discharged debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You bankruptcy lawyer can deal with this and you might even be entitled to damages for trying to collect a debt that was discharged in the Chapter 7 (if that is the case).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    No reason to reopen if they were included. Can go to bankruptcy court to complain.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    To reopen a bankruptcy case, you need to file a Motion to Reopen and you need to pay the Court fee. Before you do this, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to see if it is needed. Your question states that the creditor is trying to sue you after you included the creditor in the bankruptcy. Under these circumstances, you should be able to show the creditor a copy of the schedule listing the creditor and a copy of the discharge order and then get the creditor to go away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you are being sued by a creditor after being discharged in bankruptcy you have several options. First, I suggest sending a letter to the creditor with a copy of your discharge. Second, you can answer the lawsuit and claim the discharge as an affirmative defense. Third, you can re-open the bankruptcy and ask the judge to enforce the discharge against this creditor. Except for the first choice you should retain a lawyer to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    That has to be done by a self drafted motion, the fee is $260.00 which you can have waived since you are trying to enforce the discharge injunction. Try to get a lawyer, the creditor has to pay the lawyers fees for this, (unfortunately most lawyers are not sharo enough to know how to do this keep looking for one who does).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You should probably speak with an attorney and see if the issue can be addressed without reopening the bankruptcy. In most cases, an explanation of the facts to the creditor's attorney will get the litigation set aside. If it is necessary to reopen the bankruptcy in order to pursue the creditor, then you will file a motion to reopen and pay the filing fee for the motion. Then you will be able to proceed within the action.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Reopen to do what? If they were included in the bankruptcy, you can either answer the complaint that the debt was discharged in bankruptcy or file a motion to reopen the bankruptcy for violation of the discharge order, which doesn't stop the lawsuit per se.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    You need to file a Motion to Reopen the case and then usually the procedure is to file an "Order to Show Cause re: Contempt" under section 524 of the Bankruptcy Code. Different courts handle this different ways.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    To reopen a bankruptcy case you must file a motion to reopen, and typically pay a $260 fee to the clerk of court. For discharge violations, the fee is waived. Really, I don't think it is necessary to reopen the case, if you are only going to enforce the discharge. To my knowledge, the judges here in the Southern District of Texas do not require it in such a case. You should contact your attorney, or hire another attorney to help you. If there is a violation of the discharge order, you should be able to find an attorney willing to represent you for whatever fees are awarded by the Bankruptcy Court against the discharge violator.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    You don't need to reopen; just show your Discharge as a defense, and file an Adversary Proceeding against them in Bankruptcy Court for a discharge violation.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    Just send the creditor a copy of the petition, which includes them and it'll show they got notice. Also, send a copy of the Order of Discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Either you or your attorney can petition the court to reopen the bankruptcy. Have you sent them the documents showing that they were discharged in your bankruptcy? If not, I would try that approach first, usually it takes care of the matter and they go away.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Ray Fisher Law Offices
    Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
    You file a motion to reopen the case. You pay a filing fee to do that. Talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about this.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    File a motion to re-open case for Discharge Violations. No filing fee should be charged. Seek sanctions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
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