2020 Best Invention

What Is Post-Petition Debt?

2 minute read Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

Debt you acquire after you file your bankruptcy petition is called post-petition debt. Post-petition debt won't be discharged in your bankruptcy. But post-petition debt isn't the same as debt you forgot to include on your bankruptcy forms.

Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated March 29, 2022

At some point after filing bankruptcy, you'll inevitably take on new debt. Most of this new debt will be established after the court has granted your bankruptcy discharge. But you may also take on debt while you're still waiting for the bankruptcy court to grant your discharge.

Any debt you acquire after filing your bankruptcy petition is known as post-petition debt. This article will explain what post-petition debt is and how it differs from debts you simply forgot to include in your bankruptcy forms. We'll also look at the effect of your discharge on post-petition debt and whether the timing of the discharge affects the new debt.

What Does "Post-Petition" Mean?

Post-petition refers to anything that occurs after you've filed for bankruptcy. Conversely, the term “pre-petition” is used to refer to anything that happened before you filed for bankruptcy. Only “pre-petition” debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.  

Upsolve User Experiences

1,892+ Members Online
bryant graham
Bryant Graham
★★★★ 5 days ago
Upsolve was very helpful i highly recommend there service.
Read more Google reviews ⇾
Keith Vincent
Keith Vincent
★★★★★ 5 days ago
Upsolve provides a invaluable service at no cost. The clerk of court told me all of my paperwork was in order. It was done by myself with the assistance of Upsolve staff. Great Service for the people of this country. Thank you Upsolve.
Read more Google reviews ⇾
Andrew Morales
Andrew Morales
★★★★★ 6 days ago
Exceptional Service and Support - A Lifeline During Bankruptcy I am delighted to share my heartfelt gratitude for Upsolve and the exceptional assistance they provided my wife and me during our bankruptcy filing. Their expertise, kindness, and user-friendly platform made an otherwise daunting process remarkably simple and accessible. From the moment we engaged with Upsolve, their team exhibited an unwavering commitment to helping us navigate the complexities of bankruptcy with ease. Their knowledge and professionalism were evident at every step, and they went above and beyond to ensure we felt supported and understood throughout the entire journey. Upsolve's user-friendly platform was a game-changer, simplifying the otherwise overwhelming paperwork involved in bankruptcy filings. Their intuitive interface guided us through each necessary form, reducing confusion and streamlining the process. Thanks to their comprehensive resources and guidance, we were able to complete the filing accurately and efficiently. What truly set Upsolve apart was their empathetic and caring approach. The Upsolve team was always available to address our questions and concerns promptly, providing clear and compassionate explanations that put our minds at ease. Their commitment to accessibility is commendable, particularly for individuals like us who couldn't afford the services of a lawyer. Upsolve made bankruptcy filing a viable option for those facing financial hardships, providing much-needed support to those who need it most. While we have just completed the filing process and await the final outcome, we are confident that Upsolve's expertise and meticulous assistance will yield positive results. However, regardless of the outcome, we are eternally grateful for their invaluable help. They have given us hope and a fresh start, empowering us to take control of our financial future. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I wholeheartedly recommend Upsolve. Their commitment to making the bankruptcy process more accessible, their exceptional support, and their user-friendly platform make them an unparalleled resource for anyone in need. Thank you, Upsolve, for being our guiding light during this challenging time.
Read more Google reviews ⇾

What Is Post-Petition Debt?

Post-petition debt refers to any debt you incur or enter into after you've filed your bankruptcy petition. This debt isn't included in your bankruptcy and won't be eliminated by your bankruptcy discharge. An example of post-petition debt would be buying new furniture on credit a week after you filed for bankruptcy. Because you entered into the credit agreement after you filed for bankruptcy, the debt you owe on the furniture won't be eliminated when you receive your discharge. That means you’re still responsible for paying it back. 

What About Debts You Forgot To List on Your Forms?

Post-petition debt doesn't include:

  • Debts you had before filing bankruptcy but forgot to list in your bankruptcy forms, or

  • Debts you entered into before filing for bankruptcy that have payments coming due every month while you're in bankruptcy. Typically this type of debt includes things like apartment leases or car loans. Even though subsequent payments come due on these types of debts after you've filed for bankruptcy, the debt was incurred before your bankruptcy, so the entire debt or loan is dischargeable.

Also, in many states, if you have a “no-asset” bankruptcy, pre-petition debt will still be discharged as part of your bankruptcy as long as it was incurred before the date you filed, even if you forgot to list it. A no-asset bankruptcy refers to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy where the trustee doesn't make any payments to creditors. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies in the United States are no-asset bankruptcies.

Still, if you discover a debt that you forgot to include in your bankruptcy before you've received your discharge, you're required to amend your bankruptcy forms and add the creditor and the debt to the appropriate forms. Typically you'll have to pay a $32 fee to file the amendment, and you must send a copy of the amendment to your court-appointed trustee and the newly added creditor. 

Let's Summarize...

Post-petition debt is new debt you take on after you've filed your bankruptcy petition. If you take on new debt after filing your bankruptcy case, this post-petition debt won't be discharged in your bankruptcy because you incurred the debt after filing your bankruptcy. If you forgot to list a debt in your bankruptcy paperwork, you can still have that debt discharged by amending your bankruptcy paperwork to include the debt.

If you have a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Upsolve can help you file your case for free.

Written By:

The Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our screener to see if Upsolve is right for you.

Take Screener
11,416 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney

Learning Center

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

Go to Learning Center →

Already an Upsolve user?

Read Support Articles →


    + Show Articles

    Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can't access their basic rights when they can't afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we're fighting this injustice.

    To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.