Yes – you must include ALL creditors in your bankruptcy filing.

I get this question from many bankruptcy clients. The answer is straightforward and clear. You must list all your creditors when you file bankruptcy, whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

The reasoning behind this is simple. You cannot pick and choose to list one creditor but not list a different creditor. You cannot preferentially treat one creditor better than another creditor. For example, you don’t want to list a credit card issued by your local credit union; you want to pay it back because you have been a longstanding customer and want to continue this good relationship. However, you do not want to pay back any of your other credit cards. You can see how this is not fair to the creditors left in the filing.

If for some reason you do wish to pay a discharged creditor back in full you are still required to completely list all your creditors when you choose to file for Bankruptcy. However, if you leave a creditor off a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case by accident and it is a normal type of creditor such as a routine credit card debt, most Courts will permit the discharge of the debt.

There are additional items to note. Even if you leave the creditor off, many credit card companies do regular credit scans and may cancel your credit card due to filing for f bankruptcy protection. In addition, the fact that you listed the creditor in a bankruptcy filing does not prevent you from choosing to repay that creditor after you have received your discharge.