What Happens if You Failed to List a Creditor in your Bankruptcy Schedules?
Unfortunately, there are several answers to that question. However, the best answer is that it depends. The reason that it depends, is because the failure to list a creditor amounts to the question about due process. What rights, if any, did the creditor lose for failing to be listed?
The Bankruptcy Code provides in part that a debtor is not relieved of liability for a creditor neither listed nor scheduled to whom such debt is owed in time for the creditor to timely file a proof of claim or file an objection to a discharge. Review 11 USC 523(a)(3) for more information.
The applicable case in Nevada (which is part of the 9th Circuit) is called In re Beezley, 994 F.2d 1433 (9th Cir. 1993) which provides in part that debts owed to creditors in a no-asset chapter 7 case are discharged even when not listed in the debtor’s schedules. Accordingly, if your case is a no asset case which means there is nothing for the Trustee to administer, then the underlying debt will be discharged, unless the creditor could argue that there is a basis to object to the discharge of the debt (such as fraud). So, if the creditor has such a claim and was not listed in the schedules in time to file an objection to the discharge, the debt is not discharged. However, once the creditor becomes advised of the bankruptcy, most courts hold that the creditor has an affirmative obligation to have the bankruptcy court determine the dischargeability of the debt in a timely manner. What a timely manner is will be dependent upon the facts and the judge in your case.
For more information on this issue and/or if we can be of assistance, do not hesitate our firm. We are here to lend you a helping hand to obtain a fresh start. Our phone number is 702-386-8600.