False Creditor Claims In Bankruptcy
Are you filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy ? If so, it's really important that creditor claims are accurate and truly reflect what you owe. But sometimes creditors will make errors and submit claims that are inaccurate and if left unchallenged could end up costing you a lot in the long run.
Below are a few tips on how you can combat false creditor claims during bankruptcy:
- Carefully review all of the creditor claims in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Are they debts you owe? Are the amounts correct? Sometimes debtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy will end up with claims for debts that don't belong to them. For those debtors who are filing without the help of a bankruptcy attorney, it can be a bit much to look over all the paperwork and work the bankruptcy case. That's why working with your bankruptcy attorney to make sure that you only pay what you owe during Chapter 13 bankruptcy is critical. If you find any errors on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy paperwork, please inform your bankruptcy attorney immediately.
- Keep good records of your pre-bankruptcy payments to creditors. Compare those records to what the creditors say that you owe them. If there is any type of discrepancy let your bankruptcy attorney know and he/she will be able to challenge the creditor with the proof you provide and request that the amount owed be changed. Don't let any discrepancy in the amount owed slide, even if it is a $10 or $20, that money can add up with interest over time.
- Some creditors may even try to claim that you engaged in fraud and ask that they be exempted from the bankruptcy or that the automatic stay be lifted. If a creditor is accusing you of fraud, work with your bankruptcy attorney to challenge the fraud claim by providing proof that in fact your dealings with them have been in good faith. For example, sometimes credit card companies may highlight certain charges before a bankruptcy filing and say that at the time you knew you were going to file bankruptcy, so the charges should not be discharged. It's up to you to prove to the judge that you did not make the charges in bad faith.