Bankruptcy requires debtors to provide information about every facet of their financial state. This includes a detailed summary of debts, assets, income, and expenses. Once they commit to filing a bankruptcy case, debtors begin to hear about the bankruptcy schedules and their requirements regularly.
The bankruptcy schedules are a series of forms that every debtor must prepare and file with the bankruptcy court within 14 (fourteen) days of filing the bankruptcy petition. It is these schedules that form an overview of a debtor’s financial portfolio at the time of the bankruptcy case filing.
The bankruptcy schedules must be completed to their utmost accuracy since debtors file them with the bankruptcy court under penalty of perjury.
The following is a general summary of each schedule, including the information required by that schedule:
This schedule lists a debtor’s real property such as a personal residence, land, and timeshares,
Debtors list their personal property such as motor vehicles, household goods, bank
accounts, stocks, retirements accounts, etc.
Schedule C lists the state and federal exemptions that the debtor is claiming. This is perhaps the most complicated and crucial schedule. Why? It lists the property the debtor claims to be exempt from his or her bankruptcy estate and therefore outside the reach of the bankruptcy trustee and creditors. This schedule should be discussed at length with a qualified and experienced bankruptcy attorney familiar with the exemptions available in the state and local federal district.
This schedule lists secured creditors and the underlying collateral for their debt. Examples of secured debts include a mortgage loan, car loan, or large appliance loan.
As this schedule lists priority debts, it is also a complicated bankruptcy schedule and should be discussed with a seasoned bankruptcy professional. Priority debts may not qualify for discharge and must be paid by the debtor. Examples of priority debts are income taxes, alimony, and child support.
This schedule is often a debtor’s longest schedule since it includes unsecured debts which typically qualify for discharge. The debts on Schedule F include credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans, etc.
This is a schedule that specifically lists leases and executory contracts. The latter is a contact where the obligation of one of the parties to the contract occurs in the future. An example is if you’re hired on July 25th to appear as Santa Claus in December.
More than one party may bear financial responsibility for a debt. Schedule H lists all parties with whom the debtor shares responsibility, i.e., co-debtors.
This document lists a debtor’s household income such as wages, child support, pension,
social security income, and other sources.
Schedule J lists a debtor’s monthly budget or list of expenses.
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