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What to Do if You Discover an Error After Discharge


You will hear attorneys say over and over to confirm your bankruptcy pleadings and ensure that there are no errors. However, we are all human and mistakes happen all the time. Fortunately, bankruptcy law understands this and provides consumers with a means for correcting certain types of mistakes, even after they have received their discharge order. The process involves reopening your bankruptcy filing to fix the mistake.

The majority of reopened bankruptcy cases are permitted in order for a procedural error to be fixed.

The Following Are a Few Examples of Procedural Mistakes That May Justify Reopening a Bankruptcy Case:

  • debtor’s failure to timely file his or her counseling certification 
  • debtor’s failure to properly follow the procedure to remove a judgment lien on real property
  • debtor’s failure to list or include an essential creditor in the case
  • debtor’s failure to list a valuable piece of property or asset
  • debtor obtains a significant windfall of money (typically the trustee requests that the case be reopened)
  • any other reason that is approved by the bankruptcy court

In order to reopen a case, the debtor must file a motion requesting permission from the court to reopen the case. There is usually a fee that must be paid in order to file this type of motion, unless it is waived by the court. The debtor normally makes the request to reopen the case without giving notice to all of the creditors and without requesting a hearing. The debtor’s motion must outline in detail the mistake that was made and list the reasons for why it is necessary to reopen the case to fix it. If the debtor’s motion is granted by the court, the case can be reopened and proceed on the limited issue until it is resolved.

There is no guarantee that the bankruptcy court will allow a debtor to reopen a case. Thus, it is imperative that you carefully review your bankruptcy pleadings and ensure that they are true and correct when they are filed. You will save yourself time, money and stress by doing it right the first time. However, if you discover that an error has occurred, at least you know there is something that can be done to rectify it.

Contact the Orange, Riverside and Alameda law firm of Fitzgerald & Campbell, California’s premier debtor protection law firm. We can work with you to reopen your bankruptcy case to fix a mistake, create a debtor protection plan, or we can work to halt harassment and reduce and eliminate debt. Contact us for a consultation by calling (844) 431-3851 or emailing us at

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