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 embarrassment 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 the Debts?

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. Not doing it properly can result in serious consequences that you would want to avoid. You don't want to go it alone, so get a lawyer!

If you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County and are considering filing bankruptcy, please 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.

If you are not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Take the quiz to the right to find out more!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.