Did you receive a letter for a post-petition liability? What is a post-petition liability, and what should you do about it?
What is Post-Petition Debt or Post-Petition Liability?
Any debt acquired after you file your bankruptcy petition is post-petition debt or a post-petition liability. Post-petition debt is not included in the bankruptcy discharge.
Did I Forget to Include a Debt in My Bankruptcy Petition?
When filing bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court requires you to list all liabilities (and everyone you owe money to) in the petition. Sometimes a bankruptcy petitioner forgets a debt or creditor when they file, but this isn’t the same as a post-petition liability. When you forget to include a debt in your bankruptcy petition, you can amend the bankruptcy papers to add a creditor for a minimal fee while the bankruptcy is still in process. Sometimes, a bankruptcy petitioner may forget about the creditor entirely until after the discharge is received. If a general unsecured creditor comes forward after you receive your discharge (and that creditor would not have had a valid basis to object to bankruptcy discharge had it received notice of the filing), the discharge of debts you received from the court is generally good against that creditor as well.
A Post-Petition Liability or Debt is Different than a Forgotten Creditor
A Chapter 7 case starts when you file a “petition” at the Bankruptcy Court. Everything that happens before you file your case is called “pre-petition.” Everything that happens after that is “post-petition.” So debts you acquired before you filed are pre-petition debts, and debts you acquire after you file your petition are post-petition debts. Your bankruptcy does not deal with debts that become due after you file your bankruptcy petition (also known as post-petition debts). The debt you acquire after you file bankruptcy is not discharged in bankruptcy. For a debt to be included in a bankruptcy discharge, it must exist when the bankruptcy is filed.
Determining how bankruptcy law applies to your case can be complex, and we want to help. If you have questions about bankruptcy and how filing bankruptcy could help your family, please don’t hesitate to contact Ken Rannick. You are in good hands with Kenneth C. Rannick P.C.