Can I Collect On A Lawsuit If I Didn’t List It In My Bankruptcy Schedules?

“I have a lawsuit against somebody that I forgot to list in my schedules when I filed Chapter 7, and now my case was discharged and closed. But I want to pursue this litigation. Is this okay?”

Well, the answer to that question is yes. You probably do have a problem, because when your Chapter 7 trustee considered whether you have assets for the benefit of creditors by looking at the schedules that you signed under oath you didn’t include that lawsuit, which might be a valuable asset that the trustee would want to take up and prosecute and carry through to judgment or to settlement.

But what happened is the trustee didn’t even know that that lawsuit existed. So you got a discharge and you probably got a no distribution report in your case saying that there were no assets based upon premises that really weren’t true. What can happen is after you file your new lawsuit post bankruptcy discharge your defendant might say you didn’t list this lawsuit in yout bankruptcy schedules and therefore you should be estopped from bringing it now, because it was if you said there was no lawsuit because you didn’t schedule it in your bankruptcy papers which are filed under penalty of perjury and are supposed to be complete and accurate.

So what you really need to do in that situation is petition the court to reopen your bankruptcy case, refile your bankruptcy schedules to include the lawsuit, have the trustee consider whether the lawsuit has any value, and if not, the trustee may just go through that process all over again abandon the lawsuit, close the bankruptcy case, and then you can proceed with your lawsuit.