When you file bankruptcy, the court sends a document called the “Official Form 309A Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case — No Proof of Claim” to the creditors you listed on your bankruptcy paperwork. This form gives each creditor important information about your case and tells them what they need to do if they have a reasonable objection to your bankruptcy.
If a creditor didn’t receive a copy of this notice because the court did not have the correct address, follow these steps to make sure this is corrected:
(1) Find the correct address for the creditor.
Bills are a great way to do this, but you can also call the creditor, double-check your credit report or do an internet search.
(2) Mail the notice to the correct address.
It’s a good idea to use registered mail with a return receipt requested so that you can prove service on the creditor if later they claim they didn't get the notice.
(3) Provide the correct address to the court for future mailings.
Most courts have a system in place for changing a creditor's address on the creditor matrix after filing the case with a change of address form or online. You can call the clerk's office for the court where you filed your case to find out how they want you to handle this. If the bankruptcy court handling your case requires an amended Schedule E/F to update the creditor's address, follow the steps in this guide to add a creditor after filing to change the creditor's address.
If you're an Upsolve user, you can use the case editor and the self-service amendment feature to update your forms. This tool will help you update your creditors' addresses and gather the basic forms needed to file an amendment. To access the case editor click on the icon at the bottom of your my.upsolve screen and choose “Update Info.” Once you have finished updating, select “generate amendment” and your forms will be compiled into a PDF that can be downloaded, reviewed and printed. For instructions on how to file the amendment generated, follow the filing instructions and links provided in your my.upsolve account.
The good news is that, in most states, the debt is erased even if the creditor does not receive this notice in a no-asset Chapter 7 case. This is because there would have been no funds available to pay the debt even if they were given a chance to object. It’s a “no harm, no foul” rule.
Some states don’t follow the “no harm, no foul” approach — if the creditor does not receive notice, the debt is not erased (unless the creditor otherwise knew about the bankruptcy). You would need to amend your bankruptcy forms to add the creditor’s correct address in order to get it erased. You can contact your local bankruptcy court to find out which rules apply in your state.
The "no harm, no foul" approach does not apply if the court sends a "Notice of Need to File Proof of Claim Due to Recovery of Assets" or similar notice in your case. This signals that your case is not a no-asset case and it's important to update the address for any creditor who didn't receive this notice as soon as possible in addition to sending them a copy of the notice.