Dear Erika, An old creditor just contacted me. I didn't list it in my bankruptcy case. What should I do?

This is always a great question.  Failure to list a creditor is an oversight that happens in many bankruptcy cases.  The creditor may be old or the debt may be for a small amount, and it just slips the client's mind.  You are required to provide the name and address of all of your creditors when you file for bankruptcy.  However, the court does acknowledge that there may be an innocent exclusion of a creditor.  This tends to happen more often with ordinary creditors (old credit cards, medical collections) than priority creditors (taxes, child support).  So, what happens to those ordinary debts you didn't list?  In no-asset cases, which apply to the majority of my clients, it gets discharged anyway.  In no-asset cases, none of the other creditors got paid as a result of the bankruptcy case.  Therefore, if the excluded creditor had gotten notice, what difference would it have made? None.  If it is a priority debt, it likely wouldn't have been discharged anyway.  This isn't an excuse to be careless with your filing.  You should always do your very best to list each and every creditor.  First, you should always pull your credit report.  You will see old debts, as well as those listed as "charge-off," "written-off" or "transferred."  Those debts are still valid and should be listed.  Second, you should rack your brain to think of creditors you may have forgotten about.  Not all creditors report to the credit reporting agencies.  If your bankruptcy case is still pending, let your attorney know about the unlisted creditor.  We still have time to send them notice.