Adding Unscheduled Assets Or Creditors To A Bankruptcy Case: Is There A Time Limit?

It occasionally happens in bankruptcy cases that a debtor will forget to list a creditor on his or her bankruptcy forms and schedules.  The Bankruptcy Code permits a debtor to amend his schedules to include the missed creditor, even long after a case is closed or discharged.  It also (much more rarely) happens that assets will be identified or recovered long after a bankruptcy has been closed.  But how long is too long?

Or is there any time limit beyond which a creditor cannot be added?  Is there any time limit beyond which a late-discovered asset with tangible value is irrelevant?  Apparently not, one court has ruled.  The case is In Re Dunning Brothers Co., 410 B.R. 877 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 2009).  In this case, a bankruptcy court ruled that a case that had been closed over seventy years earlier could be reopened to include some assets that had not been listed in the case.

Continue reading