How to annul an incomplete (9 year old) bankruptcy proceeding?

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In 2008 I filed for bankruptcy, but, due to mental health reasons, I was unable to complete the requirements for the bankruptcy – specifically, i did not file my notices of assessment for previous tax years, did not complete the reporting required, and did not complete payments to the trustee. As a result, I have not yet been discharged from said bankruptcy.

At this date, i am currently in a position to arrange to pay the debts directly and would like to do so, and have the bankruptcy annulled.

To be clear: I would like to pay the debts off directly and have the bankruptcy annulled and removed from my credit report – I would *not* like to complete the bankruptcy, *nor* do i want to file a consumer proposal and have that on my record. I would like to pay the debts, and then file a request for annulment directly with the courts.

When i approached the original Trustee that I filed with, they claimed that there was no way to do what I am requesting, and they would not provide me any information whatsoever about how to proceed, *unless* I first paid them $3500 to “reopen” my file, after which they would not even say if anything could be done, besides completing the bankruptcy.

Can you please help me determine:

1 – Is what the previous trustee says true, and there is “no way” to have the proceedings completely annulled? (…since, 9 years later, the original filing and all factors are not applicable anymore)

OR

2 – Is there actually a way I can complete what I would like to do (pay debts and remove the BR status from my credit report) directly with the court?

2.a – I have since lost all of my financial records for that period, including those from the original bankruptcy.  Also, none of the original debts appear on my credit report currently.  So, if #2 is possible, how would you suggest that I best determine which debts are owed still, so that i can repay them and show the court that the debts are no longer active?

I hope you can please help shine some light on this, or at least refer me to a Bankruptcy lawyer who can help with this. Thanks!

Category: Tags: asked September 27, 2017

1 Answer

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To answer your questions:

  1. What the Trustee told you is correct.
  2. A Court cannot annul a bankruptcy unless it shouldn’t have been filed in the first place. If you filed bankruptcy but it later turns out that you actually had the ability to pay all your creditors in full on the date you filed, then a Court may consider annulling your bankruptcy.  For example, on the day you filed bankruptcy, you were unaware that you received a $1 million inheritance from a rich uncle, which could have paid off all your debts.
  3. If a record of your debts (and your bankruptcy filing) is no longer on your credit report (because it’s been over 7 years), I don’t see any point in paying it off unless your creditors are still chasing you. And as alluded to in Point 2, even if you pay off all your debts, this will not enable  a Court to annul your bankruptcy.

FYI – the request by your Trustee for a $3,500 fee to re-open your file is reasonable given the work they did in your bankruptcy.  If you are really intent on getting out of bankruptcy, then the only way to do so would be to work with your old Trustee to obtain your discharge.