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What do I do with debts I owe to friends or family; Do I have to include it in my NJ bankruptcy?

Yes, unfortunately, you do. Although a loan from mom or a cosigning on a car loan from dad is not an unusual occurrence, the bankruptcy laws seek to treat all creditors alike, which means listing all of your debts, no exceptions.

I understand how this might lead to embarassment or a strained relationship with that friend or family member, but not listing them can have serious consequences, not the least of which the denial of your bankruptcy discharge!  Here is how you handle it.

So How Do I Handle It?

As part of the bankruptcy process, speak to the friend or family member before you file.  Explain to him or her that you are legally obligated to list the debt and have it discharged in the bankruptcy.

However, and this is the good part, it does not prevent you from paying the debt back after the bankruptcy is over. The discharge will remove their ability to make you pay the debt through a law suit, but it does not remove your right to pay voluntarily, should you wish to.

Tell them that you have to list them, but that you will pay them back.  This will allow you to comply with the law and (hopefully) preserve your relationship with that friend or family member.

Need Help Filing Bankruptcy?

Complying with all of the requirements, and staying out of trouble for running afoul of them, is critical to your obtaining a fresh start.

If you live in southern New Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.