When you file bankruptcy, you want to list every single debt you have in the entire world. Bankruptcy is your chance to wipe the slate clean and you want to clean it all.
However, what happens when you forget to list something? What happens when some creditor from years ago comes out of nowhere and now demands payment?
First, you want to check with your bankruptcy attorney to see if the debt is already barred by the Georgia statute of limitations. If so, you may not need to list it anyway. Out of abundance of caution, I say list it anyway just to play it safe. However, if a claim on a debt that is barred by the statute of limitations is filed in your case, your bankruptcy attorney will need to object to it.
What do you when the debt is not barred by the Georgia statute of limitations?
If you are in an active Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you simply pay your bankruptcy attorney $30 to add the debt. (Please note that your bankruptcy attorney in the Northern District of Georgia cannot charge you more than $30 to add a debt to your case without filing a fee application with the bankruptcy court).
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, its more complicated. If your case has been discharged, your bankruptcy attorney may have to file a motion with the court to reopen the case. The charge for this can be expensive. As a result, the best thing for you to do is to get it right when you first file your case.
Getting your credit reports from Experian, Transunion, and Equifax is a great place to start. Hopefully, you are not one of those people who throws your bills in the garbage without looking at them. If you have been saving them in a box, bring them to your bankruptcy attorney so that he can get them listed in your case.
Whether you file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, it is your responsibility to make sure every single debt you owe has been listed. Sometimes I will have a client who will say to me, “Jeff, I don’t need review this petition. I trust you.” My response is that I’m glad they trust me but I insist that they review every single page since they will be signing the documents under oath.
Taking time to review your petition is an absolute must. If your bankruptcy attorney ever tries to rush you, ask for your money back and run out of the office as fast as you can.