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I filed a Chapter 7 bankrutpcy and filed a Dispute of Claim

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I filed a Chapter 7 bankrutpcy and filed a Dispute of Claim regarding a rental property. However, even though my Dispute of Claim was not heard, the court discharged my case. But, if I lose the dispute of claim, then I would had written off a second on my rental property, which is $165,000. So, being that I still have a Dispute of Claim to be heard by the bankruptcy court is there anyway to still amend my bankruptcy to discharge the debt against my rental property?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  rayanswers replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your question.If the bankruptcy was discharged you would have to seek court approval to reopen here.You would have to seek by written request to reopen here if you want to amend here.The court decides whether to allow.
Expert:  rayanswers replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your question.If the bankruptcy was discharged you would have to seek court approval to reopen here.You would have to seek by written request to reopen here if you want to amend here.The court decides whether to allow.

Reference..

"A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be reopened after discharge and case closure under certain circumstances. Bankruptcy Code Section 350(b) authorizes the bankruptcy court to reopen a case for various reasons including to "administer assets, to accord relief to the debtor, or for other cause." Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5010 states: "A case may be reopened on motion of the debtor or other party in interest pursuant to §350(b) of the Code." (emphasis added). See In re Chalasani, 92 F.3d 1300, 1308 (2d Cir. 1996). Accord In re Thompson, 16 F.3d 576, 581-82 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 512 U.S. 1221,XXXXX 2709, 129 L. Ed. 2d 836 (1994); In re Rosinski, 759 F.2d 539 (6th Cir. 1985); In re Mattera, 203 B.R. 565, 568 (Bankr. D.N.J. 1997); In re Bianucci, 4 F.3d 526, 528 (7th Cir. 1993); In re Shondel, 950 F.2d 1301, 1304 (7th Cir. 1991) (discussion of "other cause" sufficient to justify reopening Chapter 7 case).

Ultimately, however, the decision to reopen is within the discretion of the court, and merely granting a motion to reopen does not afford substantive relief but simply provides the opportunity to request further relief. Chalasani, 92 F.3d at 1307-08. Accord In re Leach, 194 B.R. 812 (E.D. Mich. 1996); In re Germaine, 152 B.R. 619 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1993).

In using its discretion to grant such a motion, "the bankruptcy court should exercise its equitable powers with respect to substance and not technical considerations that will prevent substantial justice." Stark v. St. Mary's Hospital (In re Stark), 717 F.2d 322, 323 (7th Cir. 1983) (per curiam). Hawkins v. Landmark Finance Company, 727 F.2d 324, 326 (4th Cir. 1984) (involved the reopening of a case to permit a lien avoidance proceeding; the determination to reopen a case is left to the sound discretion of the court and depends upon the circumstances of the case).

Bankruptcy Code §727(b) provides that a discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for allowed claims
and debts:

Except as provided in §523 of this title, a discharge under subsection (a) of this section discharges the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief under this chapter, and any liability on a claim that is determined under section 502 of this title as if such claim had arisen before the commencement of the case, whether or not a proof of claim based on any such debt or liability is filed under section 501 of this title, and whether or not a claim based on any such debt or liability is allowed under section 502 of this title (emphasis added).

In addition, §523(a) addresses the nondischargeability of particular debts and provides in part:

(a) A discharge under section 727 . . . of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt--

(3) neither listed nor scheduled . . . in time to permit--

(A) if such debt is not of a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6), of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such timely filing; or

(B) if such debt is a kind specified in paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of this subsection, timely filing of a proof of claim and timely request for a determination of dischargeability of such debt under one of such paragraphs, unless such creditor had notice or actual knowledge of the case in time for such filing and request.

Many bankruptcy courts routinely grant debtors' motions to amend schedules to list previously omitted creditors. See, e.g., In re Halstead, 228 B.R. 915, 915-16 (Bankr. S.D. Ind. 1998). The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has confirmed the expansive rule that a debtor in a no-asset case "may reopen the estate to add an omitted creditor where there is no evidence of fraud or intentional design." Stark, 717 F.2d at 324. See, also, In re Moyette, 231 B.R. 494 (E.D. N.Y. 1999) (a bankruptcy court abuses its discretion in denying to reopen a case to amend schedules to add a creditor in the absence of fraud, recklessness, or intentional design on the part of the debtor).

One line of appellate-level cases has focused on the concepts of prejudice to creditors and of fraud or intentional design in the §350(b) analysis. Samuel v. Baitcher (In re Baitcher), 781 F.2d 1529 (11th Cir. 1986); In re Rosinski, 759 F.2d 539 (6th Cir. 1985) (extremely narrow decision addressing the propriety of reopening the debtor's case, holding that to permit a no-asset debtor to reopen her case in order to amend schedules does not prejudice the omitted creditor and emphasizing the subjective mental state of the debtor in failing to list the debt); Hawkins, 727 F.2d at 324; Stark, 717 F.2d at 322 (the right of the creditor that is protected by § 523(a)(3) is the right to timely file a proof of claim). Accord Judd v. Wolfe, 78 F.3d 110, 114-15 (3rd Cir. 1996); In re Doherty, 176 B.R. 483 (Bankr. S.D. Ill. 1994). This established line of cases holds that once a debtor's case is closed, she must have her case reopened in order to discharge the omitted debt. Madaj, 149 F.3d at 468. After the case is reopened, the debtor amends her Schedule F pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1009(a), and the now-scheduled debt is subject to the §727 discharge. (5)

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