All debtors in bankruptcy are required to make full financial disclosures. This means listing all of your assets and debts. You must also provide a list of your creditors (commonly referred to as your “creditor matrix”), including friends, family, and anyone else you owe money to.
Why is important to list all of your creditors? The court uses your creditor matrix to mail notice of your bankruptcy filing to all of your creditors. The notice informs your creditors that the automatic stay is in effect, and that all collection activity against you must stop. If somebody you owe money to is not listed on the matrix and does not receive notice of the case, they won’t know that they are supposed to stop their collection efforts against you.
Your creditors will also be classified by the type of claim they have against you. The three types of claims are secured, priority unsecured, and nonpriority unsecured. Creditors with the same type of claim are to be treated similarly in your case. Thus, if you fail to list all of your creditors, they cannot be treated the same. In fact, if you intentionally omit a creditor from being included in your bankruptcy case, you can get into trouble with the court!
The bankruptcy court considers it perjury when you fail to make a full financial disclosure in your filing. In fact, when you sign your petition and schedules, you do so under the penalty of perjury. Most trustees also specifically ask you to confirm under oath at your meeting of creditors that you listed all of your assets and debts.
Please keep in mind that every case is different. If you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy and you want to schedule a no-cost consultation, contact our office by completing the form on this website or calling us at (954) 932-5377.