Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All or Nothing: All Debts Must Be Listed In Your Bankruptcy

            A popular concern of many debtors is including accounts with certain creditors, like their doctor or a store they like, in their bankruptcy. While it is understandable that a person may not want to include a creditor they particularly like, not listing a creditor in a bankruptcy will have serious consequences. Failure to list a debt, depending on the circumstances, can result in the debt not being discharged, dismissal of the debtor’s case, or even federal criminal implications.

            When people are told they must list all debts, even the ones they don’t want to include, they try to find alternatives. Many people ask if they can simply pay the debt off to the creditor, and then file their case. The answer is maybe. There are certain restrictions on paying different types of creditors large sums of money shortly before filing a bankruptcy, because the Trustee can sue the creditor in certain circumstances to return the money paid. If it is a family member, the answer is almost always no, don’t pay them. If the creditor is a standard creditor, like a doctor or credit card, then the person may have to wait some time to file and/or may be limited in the amount that can be paid.

            If you are considering filing bankruptcy, but have concerns about listing all of your debts; contact us to discuss your options. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can talk to you about your options when it comes to debts you are concerned about listing. In some circumstances, careful bankruptcy planning can help you get the results you want, and/or the results that are in your best interest. Call us at 503-352-3690 to discuss your options. You can also visit us at www.pacificbankruptcy.com