I forgot to put a creditor on my bankruptcy forms that I filed. What should I do?

3,334 families filed bankruptcy using Upsolve.

Written by Jonathan Petts, Esq.  
Updated May 16, 2019

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It’s always better to be sure that all of your creditors are listed in your bankruptcy paperwork that is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. But no matter how careful you are when completing your bankruptcy forms, mistakes like forgetting to list a debt can happen.

The good news is that, in most states, if you forget to list a debt by mistake and there’s no property to give to creditors in your Chapter 7 case, the forgotten debt is erased anyway. The reasoning is that, even if you had properly listed the debt, there would have been no funds available to pay the debt. It’s a “no harm, no foul” rule.

Unfortunately, a few states in the 1st Circuit - Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island, don’t follow the “no harm, no foul” approach. If you omitted a debt from your bankruptcy forms in one of these states, the debt is not erased (unless the creditor otherwise knew about the bankruptcy). So you would need to amend your bankruptcy forms to add the creditor in order to get it erased. Adding creditors involves filing extra paperwork with the court, along with a $31 filing fee. Your can contact your local bankruptcy court for details. Upsolve can’t help with this.

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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. Spun out of Harvard Law School, 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.


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