June 25, 2018

Can I Leave Selected Debts Out of my Bankruptcy Filing?

I get this question at least once a week – “I need to file bankruptcy but I don’t want to include my [mortgage] [car loan] [debt to my brother] [credit card co-signed by my company] [medical debt].   Let’s leave this debt off my petition.

Sorry – can’t do it.  As North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer Adrian Lapas writes in his recent post in the Bankruptcy Law Network blog:

When you sign your bankruptcy petition, you are certifying to the United States Bankruptcy Court, under penalty of perjury, that the petition and schedules attached to it lists all of your assets and all of your debts.  All means all!  You do not get to pick and choose which debts you list in your bankruptcy case.

Not only must you include all of your creditors but you may also have to include other “interested parties.”  In the Northern District of Georgia, for example, the Chapter 13 trustee requires all debtors who are subject to child support orders to include the custodial parent as a priority creditor in their Chapter 13 petitions.  [Read more…]

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