Just after you file for bankruptcy a bigger bill comes in the mail for a higher amount. Are you responsible for the difference between what you scheduled in the bankruptcy petition and the amount of the new bill? An Elyria bankruptcy client who filed her chapter 7 case two days ago asked this question.
When you file for bankruptcy a legal fiction called a bankruptcy estate is created. This consists of all of your assets and all of your liabilities. This is lawyer talk for everything you own and everyone you owe. For the time that your bankruptcy case is pending in the court, your bankruptcy estate is owned by the court. The extent of the bankruptcy estate is determined as of the filing date and time. For the sake of simplicity for assets other than:
- Inheritances and
- Life insurance payouts
In a chapter 7 case the court has jurisdiction over everything from the date of filing and backwards. This means that everything going forward from the bankruptcy filing date is not in the court’s control or protection.
When I filed your chapter 7 case I was very careful to list all of the creditors you owed money, right? If you receive a bigger bill after filing you bankruptcy petition and because of:
- Late fees
- Over limit charges
Even if the balance is higher, the bill is still included in the bankruptcy estate and will ultimately be discharged. This is not the case if it is a bigger bill for services or purchases after the petition filing date, or within 90 days prior. If they occurred after the creation of the bankruptcy estate they are not included. If it is for a cash advance or for the purchase of luxury goods 90 days before you filed you might be required to pay those amounts.
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