A knotty problem that surfaces from time to time in Chapters 7 and 13 is the omitted or undisclosed asset. In many of these cases, the omitted or undisclosed asset is a claim or right to payment based on a claim for a personal injury or a claim for worker's compensation which, for whatever reason, is not disclosed in the client's Chapter 7 or 13 case.
At Jeff Field & Associates, we do our due diligence to try to determine whether our clients have such a claim or right to payment and to try to ensure that any documents signed by our clients and filed in the Bankruptcy Court are complete, accurate and truthful! As a client consulting with an attorney, you are not expected to know bankruptcy law. That is the job of your attorney. As a result, many attorneys have developed a set of questions to assist you in fully disclosing all that you own (assets) including any claims for personal injury and worker's compensation as well as all that you owe (liabilities).
Remember: In either Chapter 7 or 13, a full disclosure of your assets and your liabilities must be made in exchange for receiving a discharge of your liabilities and a fresh start when your case is completed. This is actually a win-win requirement for clients because only through full disclosure to your attorney, with all of the cards on the table, can your attorney effectively discuss the options available to you to control your debt , preserve your assets and maximize your fresh start.
The controlling law in GA is that a Chapter 7 or 13 client has a continuing duty to disclose all assets to the trustee, to the creditors and to the Court whether the asset exists before your case is filed or comes into existence after your case is filed. If you think you might have a personal injury claim or workers compensation claim that arose before or after your bankruptcy case was filed, you should immediately notify your bankruptcy attorney. Only when your attorney is made aware of this possible asset can the attorney assist you by steering you through potential rough waters and preserving the value of that asset for your fresh start.