Sunday, February 13, 2011

What happens if I make a Mistake on my Bankruptcy Schedules?

Despite the fact that some lawyers like to consider themselves infallible, the reality is that we all make mistakes. This is even true of our clients sometimes.

If you have made a mistake on your bankruptcy schedules, there is a general right to amend as allowed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Rule 1009. The rule allows for amending of schedules any time before the case is closed so long as Notice is given to the trustee and any entity affected (usually meaning notice to all creditors).

In Massachusetts, there is also a local rule (Rule 1009-1), which requires that in some cases if your amendment involves adding a creditor or changing your exemptions, then you must file a Motion with the Court requesting approval of the amendment. As a practical matter, filing a Motion to Amend for any amendment may be the safest way to get the Court's approval quickly.

The most important thing to understand here is that if you discover a mistake on your schedules or petition, immediately file (or have your attorney file) an amendment to ensure that your case proceeds smoothly and you do not get accused of providing false information.

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