Do I have to include all my debts in my bankruptcy?
18 January 2010
Yes. The bankruptcy petition requires that you list all your debts and that you make all statements under the penalty of perjury. There is no way around listing all your debts, but there is a plan you can have to make that special creditor whole despite your bankruptcy, read on.
It is so common for consumers to think that they can pick and choose which debts to include in their bankruptcy and which they do not. People often say “I’m not going bankrupt on that debt” or “I’m not including that debt in my bankruptcy.” But that isn’t acceptable. People often have at least one debt which they really want to pay despite needing to file bankruptcy. Usually this debt is owed to a family member or sometimes to an employer. The person feels terrible about “going bankrupt on” that particular debt because they feel an affinity towards the person or entity that gave them the loan. Sometimes a person preparing to file for bankruptcy doesn’t have the money and figures they will get a loan from a family member or friend in order to pay their attorney. One must think about this and what they are doing, filing bankruptcy. This means they will seek to obtain a discharge of their personal responsibility on their debts. So claiming you intend to pay a loan back that you plan to use to file bankruptcy is saying you intend to jump into a pool to dry off.
If you can’t live with yourself if a particular special creditor is not made whole, what you can do is this. After the bankruptcy case is closed, you may voluntarily give the creditor the amount of the previous (now discharged) loan as a gift out of the kindness of your heart. So, if you really want to ensure that a particular creditor is made whole, you can do it, but just after the bankruptcy is over and in the form of a gift.
Contact: George E. Bourguignon, Jr.