How to Fill Out Bankruptcy Forms

Learn about completing the official bankruptcy forms used in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Completing the official bankruptcy paperwork is relatively straightforward—you ‘ll follow the easy-to-understand instructions provided at the top of each page. You ‘ll besides find instructions in the left column immediately future to each question .
however, keep in mind that the forms do n’t explain what will happen in your bankruptcy shell. Before filing, you should understand the law, including whether you ‘ll be able to protect your place. You ‘ll besides want to know whether your debts will qualify for a discharge—the order that wipes out your obligations. If you ‘re diffident, consult with a bankruptcy lawyer .

Completing the Bankruptcy Forms

The court organized the bankruptcy forms by the type of information you ‘ll disclose on each.

Identifying Information

The Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy form is the cover sheet for your paperwork. On it, you ‘ll provide your identify and cover, american samoa well as :

  • your social security number
  • the name of any businesses you own
  • the bankruptcy chapter you intend to file
  • how you plan to pay the filing fee
  • whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy within the last eight years
  • your home rental status
  • whether you own any hazardous property, and
  • whether you’ve completed your credit counseling course.

If you ‘re filing a joint prayer, you ‘ll besides include your spouse ‘s information .

Your Property

You ‘ll describe all of the property that you own on Schedule A/B: Property, including :

  • real estate
  • cars, vans, trucks, tractors, SUVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles
  • watercraft, aircraft, motor homes, and other recreational vehicles
  • personal and household items (furnishings, electronics, collectibles, sporting and hobby equipment, firearms, clothing, jewelry, pets)
  • financial assets (bank accounts, cash, retirement accounts, investments)
  • money owed to you (tax refunds, domestic support, loans, inheritance, lawsuits against other people)
  • business and business-related property, and
  • all other assets you own.

Your Exempt Property

You ‘ll list the jurisprudence that allows you to keep finical assets on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt. You ‘ll find the applicable jurisprudence in your state ‘s exemption statutes .

Your Collateralized Debt

When your creditor has the right to take property ( collateral ) if you fall behind on your payment, the debt is a secure bankruptcy claim, and you ‘ll list it on Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property. Car loans and mortgages are two of the most common collateralize loans. Find out when a bankruptcy title is contingent, unliquidated, or disputed .

Your Other Debt

You ‘ll list your remaining debt on Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims, including priority claims, such as :

  • child and spousal support
  • taxes and obligations to the government, and
  • claims for death or personal injury that occurred while you were intoxicated.

You ‘ll besides list credit rating card balances, medical bills, personal loans, utility bills, and any other debt you might have .
Am I required to include all of my creditors ?
It ‘s park to want to exclude a creditor—and some people mistakenly believe it ‘s o to do so. For example, you might not want to disclose :

  • a credit card you’d like to keep open for travel expenses
  • an account you use to pay for your pet’s veterinary bills
  • a debt owed to a relative or close friend you feel obligated to pay, or
  • a small bill that you’d prefer to pay yourself.

however, the rule is you ca n’t exclude an obligation for any reason. You must report all of your creditors in your bankruptcy case, no matter the circumstances .
The rule is in put because it ‘s illegitimate to favor one creditor over another. If funds are available for creditors, the bankruptcy trustee—the official tasked with overseeing the case—will disperse the money according to the precedence of the debt. For case, a creditor owed delinquent bridal support will receive payment before a credit card company .
If you omit a creditor, you could remain responsible for the debt after your bankruptcy case. Worse however, a judge who finds you intended to defraud the creditor could issue a fine of up to $ 250,000, 20 years in prison, or both.

Your Contracts and Leases

If you ‘re in a contract that has n’t expired yet—for example, you have a gymnasium membership or an equipment rental agreement—you probably have an executory shrink or lease. You ‘ll include it on Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases .

Your Codebtors

You ‘ll list any codebtors —individuals who must pay your debt if you fail to do so—on Schedule H: Your Codebtors. Common codebtors include car loan cosigners and roast accredit cardholders .

Your Income

Schedule I: Your Income is where you disclose your income and employment information. Suppose you ‘re married but filing for bankruptcy without your spouse. In that case, you ‘ll include your spouse ‘s income unless you ‘re separated ( but check with a bankruptcy lawyer to be sure—this is a complicate sphere ) .

Your Expenses

On Schedule J: Your Expenses, you ‘ll list your monthly expenditures. You ‘ll deduct your expenses from the Schedule I net income amount to determine your monthly disposable income. Keep in take care that if you file for Chapter 7 and have significant disposable income, the evaluator might find you have the ability to pay your creditors something in chapter 13 .

Your Financial Affairs

You ‘ll tell the court about your anterior fiscal situation and transactions on the Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy form. For exemplify, you ‘ll disclose :

  • your gross income for the last two full years (as well as the year-to-date amount)
  • recent payments to creditors
  • active lawsuits
  • safe-deposit boxes and storage spaces
  • prior foreclosures and repossessions
  • property transfers
  • property you’re borrowing or holding for someone else
  • bank account closures, and
  • business information.

Your Social Security Number

You ‘ll provide your Social Security act on the Statement About Your Social Security Numbers kind ( it wo n’t be available to the public ) .

Your Financial Summary

You ‘ll tell the court about your assets, debt, income, expenses, and debt type by transferring totals from your other schedules to the Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information form .

Your Verification

You ‘ll attest to the accuracy of the information provided in your forms on the Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules kind. Be mindful that wittingly supplying wrong information or failing to disclose fully is penal by up to $ 250,000, 20 years in prison, or both .

Other Bankruptcy Forms

You ‘ll have early forms to fill out, a well. For exemplify, you ‘ll need to complete means test forms in chapter 7 bankruptcy for reservation purposes .
besides, you ‘ll use the Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7 form to declare whether you intend to keep property you ‘re still paying for, such as a home or car, or whether you ‘ll return it to the lender. Find out more about secured debts in chapter 7 bankruptcy .
For complete lists, see Forms You Must File in chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Forms You Must File in chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Finding the Bankruptcy Forms

You can download fillable versions of the official bankruptcy forms on the U.S. Trustee ‘s web site. besides, many bankruptcy courts require filers to use local forms, such as a local anesthetic chapter 13 plan shape. Visit your local woo ‘s web site for information. You can find it using the Federal Court Finder cock .

Need More Help?

Did you know Nolo has been making the law slowly for over fifty dollar bill years ? It ‘s true—and we want to make surely you find what you need. Below you ‘ll find more articles explaining how bankruptcy works. And do n’t forget that our bankruptcy home page is the best home to start if you have other questions !
We wholeheartedly encourage research and learn, but on-line articles ca n’t address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best means to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer .

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Category : Finance

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