The term “creditors” is often used in bankruptcy to describe those entities/persons who are owed money by those who are filing for bankruptcy relief. There are secured creditors such as a mortgage or car company (loan) and there are unsecured creditors such as credit cards or medical bills. There are, of course, other types of creditors like unsecured priority creditors, such as outstanding tax obligations, as well as others but I think you get the idea.
When one ultimately files for bankruptcy, all creditors must be duly and properly listed within one’s filed bankruptcy petition. Whether the creditor is deemed to be “good” or “bad”, it must be listed within the petition as long as there is any balance amount owed to the creditor in question. In other words, if you have an open credit card that has a zero balance at the time you are going to file either a chapter 7 or a chapter 13 bankruptcy, it would not have to be listed within the bankruptcy petition and there is an excellent chance that the credit card will not be closed by the company after the time of filing. On the other hand, if the credit card had even a one dollar ($1) balance at the time of filing, it should and must be listed.
It is not the decision of the party filing for bankruptcy to determine which creditors are noted in the filed petition and who is to be left out. Any individual or entity that is owed anything on any type of debt must be noted in the petition. The bankruptcy code mandates full, complete and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities. Failure to do so can put your bankruptcy matter in peril. During your meeting with your bankruptcy counsel, be sure to advise him/her of all debts and liabilities that are due and owing. To help you ensure such accuracy, I would recommend you running a credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. It may also be a good idea to have a judgment search run on yourself for good measure.
Most unsecured debts, such as credit cards, subscribe to a listing entity/company. Such a company will compile a list of recently filed individuals along with their social security (partial) and address specifics. This list will be compiled and forwarded to the subscribing creditors. If the creditor finds a match between one of their customers/clients and the aforementioned list, the account in question will be closed. In other words, you may be able to hide the creditor from your legal counsel but you won’t be able to hide your bankruptcy filing from your creditor(s). Be smart and be sure to list all of your creditors in your bankruptcy petition.