property of the bankruptcy estate by operation of law. Debtors are required to list in their
Bankruptcy Schedules all property that they own or in which they have an interest. Individual
debtors can legally exempt certain property and keep it from their creditors. However, exempt and
non‐exempt property becomes “property of the estate”.
If a debtor fails to disclose property in his/her Schedules there can be adverse consequences. For
example, the debtor’s discharge of all debts could be denied. Beyond that, property which is not
“administered” by the trustee theoretically remains property of the estate forever. The Bankruptcy
Code does, however, provide that property that is disclosed but not administered is likewise
abandoned by operation of law back to the debtor when the bankruptcy case is closed.