Almost every day I receive a communication from the bankruptcy court that a Notice of Commencement form in one of my clients’ bankruptcy cases was returned for an incorrect address. That creditor has not received notice of my client’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Does it really matter if a debtor does not provide his attorney an accurate creditor address?
It matters for at least two reasons. If a creditor does not receive a notice from the bankruptcy court through the mail the creditor is not bound by the automatic stay, and the creditor may continue to collect its debt. More importantly, lack of notice is one of the exceptions to discharge.
Our office insists that debtors do the work necessary to provide correct addresses, and we often charge clients fees for multiple incorrect addresses. Most creditors are large companies whose addresses are on the internet, or more likely, are on the debtor’s credit report. Making an effort to get a “good address” is a small price for discharging significant money debts. For an additional discussion on this topic, see an article written by Oregon attorney Kent Anderson