When preparing to file for bankruptcy, people often wonder which creditors they are supposed to list on their petitions, and which ones they should leave out. This confusion often comes from individuals assuming that if a debt cannot be discharged it does not need to be listed; they often think, “why bother listing it?” However, when listing creditors for your bankruptcy petition, you almost always want to list every single creditor you have, regardless of if it will be able to be discharged through the bankruptcy or not. The only exception to this rule would be if you do not owe the creditor anything anymore, or have a zero balance with them. (*If you have several accounts with zero balances on them that appear on your credit report, you may want to consider closing these accounts out. It will help to prevent any fees, clean up your credit, and be a good first step toward rebuilding your credit).
Making sure to list every creditor you have on your bankruptcy petition is a very important step in the bankruptcy process. When listing these creditors, it is imperative that you provide the creditor’s name and correct mailing address. This will ensure that your creditor receives notice of your bankruptcy filing. When a creditor receives notice of your bankruptcy, they must stop contacting you immediately. This will provide you, as the debtor, much needed relief from harassing collection efforts. In addition to the creditor’s name and address, it is also important to list your account number with them, the date you incurred the debt, and the amount you owe them as well. This will assist your creditor with making sure they are not contacting you regarding your specific account, and can help your attorney assist with ensuring this as well.
If you happen to miss one of your creditors, and file your petition without including them, this will only be an issue if you are in a Chapter 7 case that has an asset that is going to be disbursed. If this happens, you can include the creditor for an additional charge. Typically, you would have to pay just a court cost charge; however, this is something to discuss with your attorney. If you are a “No Asset Chapter 7”, meaning you do not have any assets that are going to be disbursed to your creditors, and you do not include the creditor, the debt will still be discharged. (*NOTE: this is true in the Eastern District of Missouri; it may be different in another district. Check with your local bankruptcy attorney to verify the local rules in your district).
If you have questions about which of your creditors should be listed, contact your local St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney today!