If bills weren’t filed for bankruptcy, what are our options now or do we have any? 17 Answers as of April 15, 2014

My wife and I closed a small business in 2006. We tried and tried to get back on our feet but couldn't and ended up hiring a lawyer to file bankruptcy for us in 2011.The lawyer asked for our bills but we told her it was so long ago we could not remember all of them. She said, "No problem, I will get them all off of your credit report." The other day I get a call from a bill that should have been included in that bankruptcy, saying I owe them $5000. I told them we had filed bankruptcy in 2011 but he said he did not know anything about that. We never got a list of all the bills that were included in the bankruptcy. We are hoping this is a mix up on this bill's end.

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All debts are discharged by a bankruptcy. As long as it was a no-asset case which it probably was then the creditor could not have gotten anything even if they had been given notice; no harm - no foul.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/15/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
The statute of limitation for the collection of most debts is 6 years (the date of the last payment starts the clock). You can Google your State stature of limitations. Another option would be to file a motion to re-open your case, and amend the list of creditors to include this creditor. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/14/2014
Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
It depends on where you live, what Chapter you filed and whether or not there were assets in your case (was there a distribution to creditors?). For instance, if you are in California (the 9th Circuit) and you filed a no-asset case (nothing to distribute to creditors), claims that were not listed are discharged. The exception to that rule is for claims that had a basis for non-dischargeability; those claims are not discharged. You should contact an attorney to analyze your situation. This answer was provided as a public service to a question posed on the Law Q & A website. The answer is based on the information provided and is limited to those facts. Furthermore, the answer is based on California law and their application to bankruptcy law in California.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you received your discharge and trustee had no assets found, then send copy of discharge letter to creditor and that should be enough, or you would have to reopen the bankruptcy case and add that creditor.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/14/2014
Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
You can pull down your BK petition off the court's website. It could very well have been put on the list and then sol to someone else. If the debt is on the list, it does not matter how many times they sell it, it is still discharged in the BK.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Office of Shirly L. Horn | Shirley L. Horn
    If it was a "No Asset" Liquidation Chapter 7 and a creditor was inadvertently omitted, then the debt is still discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Check for a copy of the schedules filed and the discharge. Even if they were not listed, generally in the 9th circuit the debt is discharged anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Attached is a sample letter that takes care of the problem. AND if you are in California the statute of limitations is 4 years. Unless they have a judgement the debt is noncollectable and you have an action against them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Most likely is this is scam. Fraudsters try to collect on old debt. If you ask for an address it will turn out to be a PO Box. Do not give them any money as that will restart the statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    Fortunately, in the 9th District, which includes California, an unscheduled debt in a chapter 7 NO ASSET bankruptcy is still discharged if the debt was left out inadvertently. In order to overcome the discharge the creditor would have to prove that the discharge was obtained through fraud. In other words, would the outcome in your case, receiving a discharge, have been different if this debt would have been listed? If the answer is no, the discharge stands.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    In most cases the debt is discharged even if it was not listed if: (1) it would have been discharged had it been included (2) there were no assets from which the creditor could have been paid, and (3) there was no fraud in incurring the debt. Your attorney should have copies of the schedules that listed your debts or you can obtain them from the bankruptcy court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Why don't you go to the bankruptcy court and pay the clerk for a copy of your bankruptcy petition & schedules? While you are there, get a copy of your bankruptcy discharge and send it to the creditor attempting to collect from you. Even if this creditor was not listed in your bankruptcy case, unless money was paid out to creditors by your trustee, the debt would be included in your discharge, even if not listed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    If your case was closed as a "no asset" case, meaning the trustee didn't collect any money and didn't make a distribution to creditors, all debts, listed or not, were discharged. If, however, there was a distribution then a creditor who was not listed and didn't have notice of the filing in time to file a proof of claim is not discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    If a bill wasn't listed in your bankruptcy, it receives the same treatment as if it was included. So, if you filed a chapter 7 and there was no payment to your creditors, the omitted creditor will get nothing. If creditors were paid, for example, 15% on the dollar, you'll have to pay the omitted creditor 15% of his claim. Most omitted creditors drop it when informed of your bankruptcy, but if they press the issue, you'll need to reopen your bankruptcy. The filing fee is $260, plus $30 to amend your schedules, I charge $350 to prepare the paperwork. Not cheap but better than $5,000.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    You need to contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately. Treatment of omitted creditors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends upon your jurisdiction and whether or not your case was an "asset" or "no asset" case. If it was a "no asset" case and you can show that the omission was unintended and harmless then that debt should be considered discharged as if it had been listed in your bankruptcy but you must consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    You need to speak with your attorney to get a copy of what creditors were listed in the bankruptcy. You should have reviewed the creditors, and other schedules, and signed off before they were filed with the Court. If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and your case was a no asset case, you may be able to include this creditor as it was inadvertently omitted from the filing.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Law Offices of A. J. Mitchell, LLC
    Law Offices of A. J. Mitchell, LLC | A. J. Mitchell
    Recommend that you contact your bankruptcy attorney and get a copy of your petition and schedules. Your attorney should be able to advise you on this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/11/2014
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    It depends on the chapter you filed and whether it is a no asset case. Talk to your former lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/11/2014
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