NJ Bankruptcy Forms: The Creditor Matrix

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If you are weighing the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey, you’ve likely realized that there is a large amount of paperwork involved in the process. This is true whether your past due debts would be best resolved with a chapter 7 bankruptcy or if your unique financial situation lends itself better to a chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

Although there are additional bankruptcy chapters, chapter 7 and chapter 13 are the two most common types filed by individuals and small business owners. Because bankruptcy filers are already in debt, it isn’t uncommon to contemplate foregoing an attorney. While it may seem like an easy way to cut corners, a bankruptcy attorney’s fees can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

With that being said, if you choose to move forward without a lawyer, some of the required forms may confuse you, leading to critical errors in your bankruptcy petition if you aren’t careful. Always do your research before filling out any of your paperwork that you have questions about.

What is the creditor matrix?

While it may sound like something more complex, the New Jersey bankruptcy creditor matrix is a list of everyone to whom you owe money. The creditor matrix is also referred to as the creditor mailing list, because throughout the duration of your case, the court will use the matrix to notify your creditors of important case information.

Why is the creditor matrix so important?

Every debt that you wish to have discharged must be listed on your creditor matrix. Omitting a creditor can lead to that debt not being discharged. Even listing a creditor’s information incorrectly is reason enough for them to object to your bankruptcy discharge of their debt.

Creditors who aren’t notified about your bankruptcy will be entitled to continue collecting money from you. This is simply because they weren’t included in your creditor matrix; therefore, they never knew about your bankruptcy petition.

What do I need to know about filing a creditor matrix?

Every individual bankruptcy court has unique filing policies and formatting procedures for the creditor matrix. You can work with an experienced NJ bankruptcy attorney who will prepare and file the matrix for you. This eliminates any possibility of error, which is one of the huge benefits of hiring an attorney to file bankruptcy for you. Misfilings and omissions can cost you large amounts of money – much more than you would pay in attorney fees.

If I make a mistake on my creditor matrix, can it be fixed?

Making a mistake on your creditor mailing list won’t necessarily cause your case to be thrown out, but if you realize you’ve left off a creditor (or several), you’ll need to add them via matrix amendment. Each time you make changes to your bankruptcy petition, you’ll be charged another fee, and you’re required to notify all of your creditors about any changes.

Amending any part of your bankruptcy petition must be done according to the specific rules of your bankruptcy court. Creditors who are added to the creditor matrix will also need to be added to other sections of your bankruptcy petition, namely Schedules D, E or F.

Image credit: Judy van der Velden
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