How to Find Your Creditors for Bankruptcy
Every bankruptcy case requires you to list out ALL of your creditors (those to whom you owe money). A responsible and complete creditors list can be created by following three simple steps. These three steps will make sure that you are creating the most complete creditors list possible.
Step One: Use Your Bills and Statements
Use your bills, statements, or any similar resources to get started. This is the first step to building your creditors list. This should be the “base” of your creditors list and will likely give you the majority of the information. First, assemble whatever bills and statements you can find. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to wait for the next one-month cycle to receive a new set of notices if you had already discarded all of your previous statements.
Second, take the time to sort out and list every single creditor. Fill in ALL the required information on each entry of your creditor list. Make sure to fill in every blank. Your office uses these forms because they are MUCH MORE ACCURATE than only pulling in creditors from your credit report. Your credit report many times does not list all of your debts! For example, medical and other various forms of local debts are frequently not included in credit reports.
Step Two: Use Your Memory
Go back through your memory and list out any creditor that comes to mind. Go through the last 5-10 years. Is there any medical bill or unfinished item that does not appear to be in your bills? You should probably list the item, even if you just estimate how much you believe you may owe them. It is important to do this to increase the chances of including all your creditors. Though rare, sometimes creditors are only listed by using your memory. They may never appear on your notices or credit reports. Make sure to fill out all blanks for the required petition information, estimating to the best of your ability.
Step Three: Use Your Credit Report as a Final Check
If you are uncertain as to your creditors or just want to be thorough, then you should pull a credit report for a final check. Pulling a credit report is always a good idea before a bankruptcy filing. You may not learn any additional information than what you achieved in the first two steps.
However, if you do find an additional listing that appears to be different than what you listed, make sure to include it also.
You never need to fill out the same creditor twice, but you should make sure to list every creditor and any collection agencies. Remember, some creditors may have different divisions or offices such as hospital-related bills with different doctors. If you use this three-pronged approach to listing your creditors, you will most likely come up with the most accurate creditor’s list possible.
Some people get completely stuck and do not believe they can produce a creditors list in any form. Most offices also offer a 3-credit-report automatic generation of your creditors for your bankruptcy for somewhere between $35-$60. However, this listing will likely not be as accurate as the listing we described above. If you make this choice, you should still apply steps 1 and 2 above to add anything missed on the list provided. You should still check your bills and notices and then use your memory to make sure that nothing was missed from your reports. As with every bankruptcy office, it is YOUR responsibility to provide your creditors for the court. At best, your bankruptcy attorney only can research the debts you owe through the credit reporting system. The rest is up to you to check your creditors list, making sure it is as accurate and complete as possible.
Are you a client of Bymaster Bankruptcy and you need additional pages for your creditors list? Go here.