The Bankruptcy Process

Who notifies the creditors and bill collectors of my bankruptcy filing?

After your bankruptcy is filed, the court mails a notice to all the creditors listed in your mailing matrix. This usually takes a couple of weeks. For emergencies, you should have your attorney inform the creditors immediately.

What if I forget to list a creditor on my bankruptcy papers?

You are permitted to file an amendment to your schedules up to a certain time before discharge. If the amendment is timely filed, then the omitted creditor is added to the bankruptcy. However, if you fail to list a creditor, you may not be able to use the bankruptcy laws to protect you against that creditor, although there is case law that discharges an unlisted creditor in a Chapter 7 no asset case. However, it is in your best interest to list every creditor, whether or not you dispute his/her claim against you.

Do I have to go to court?

Yes. About 45 days after you file for bankruptcy, you will have to attend a hearing presided over by the bankruptcy trustee. This hearing is called the First Meeting of Creditors. At this hearing the trustee will ask you questions under oath regarding the content and accuracy of your bankruptcy petition. After the trustee is done the creditors will be permitted to question you. If you have an attorney, your attorney will be there to represent you and will help prepare you for the hearing. After this hearing, you will normally not need to return to court.