J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Once you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, do you have to list new property that you acquire during the case? The answer is yes, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Bohm in Houston, Texas in the case of In re Watts, Case No. 09-35864, Bankr. Court, SD Texas 2012.

In particular, you have to list any lawsuits that you acquire or had an interest in, either when you filed bankruptcy or after your chapter 13 filing.

Judge Bohm ruled in the recent case of In re Watts, that the debtors' case should be dismissed with prejudice for 180 days for bad faith for (1) not disclosing a legal malpractice claim that the debtors had against their prior chapter 7 lawyer; and (2) suing the prior lawyer in state court in the name of the chapter 13 trustee, without first getting the trustee's permission to do so. Of course it did not help that the debtor husband was a lawyer himself.

The judge commented that as a lawyer, he should have understood the issue and made disclosure.

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