When you file for bankruptcy, there are certain documents that the bankruptcy law requires you to file with your case. First is your petition which contains all of your personal information. The second set of documents are your bankruptcy schedules. The schedules are a snapshot of your financial picture at the exact moment that your case is filed. Although there are other documents that are required to be filed, your schedules are the largest and most comprehensive of the paperwork which you file. There are several categories for your schedules which are listed as Schedules A through J.
You must list in Schedule A all interests in real estate in which you are on the deed. Real estate includes land and buildings. Schedule A provides the location and value of your real property interests. Generally your attorney will use the tax assessor value, which is the value on which your property taxes are based. You should also be sure to tell your Birmingham bankruptcy attorney if anyone else is on the deed with you.
Schedule B lists your interests in personal property. Personal property consists of all things that are not real estate, such as vehicles, household goods, electronics, clothing, and bank accounts. Personal property value is calculated using the replacement cost of a like item in the same condition. If someone has died and you will be inheriting property or money, you will have to list this information on Schedule B even if you have not received the property yet.
Exemptions are listed on Schedule C. Exemptions are amounts of equity in property that you are allowed by law to keep if the property were sold. This does not mean that your property will be sold. Rather, it is a way for the Bankruptcy Court to calculate equity in your property. State law is usually used in the exemption calculation, so your bankruptcy lawyer will have to review your property and apply your exemptions. This schedule can be complicated and your bankruptcy attorney can explain the results of the exemption calculations to you.
The schedules which address your creditors are Schedules D, E, and F. The debts are arranged by secured, priority, and unsecured. Schedule D lists all secured debts, including mortgages, vehicle loans, and other loans you owe in which you used the money to buy property. Schedule E are priority debts. These debts are income taxes, back child support, and court fines. You cannot discharge priority debts; therefore, you are required to pay them. Schedule F is a listing of all of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, and signature loans.
Schedule G is a listing of leases and contracts that have not been fully performed. You will list the leases which you are assuming (continuing to pay) and those which you are rejecting (stop paying). Schedule H lists the debts in which you are a co-signor on someone else’s debt or if someone is a co-signor on your debt. A co-signor is a person who promises to pay a debt if the other person fails to pay it.
Schedule I sets out your monthly household income. Income is based on the entire household. If your spouse is not filing bankruptcy with you and you are living together, any income or wages received by the spouse has to be listed. Most income is from wages and the figures are taken from your pay stubs. If you have a business as your income, you will list your income minus expenses for a net income amount for each month. You will also list child support, alimony, retirement, food stamps, and disability.
Schedule J is a list of your monthly expenses. The expenses are also for the entire household. Sometimes it is difficult to list a set amount for expenses that change each month, such as utility bills, so you will use an average for those expenses. You should also include expenses that you pay less frequently, such as car tags and insurance.
Schedules are a very important part of your bankruptcy filing in Jefferson County, Alabama. You must be truthful and disclose all assets, income, and expenses. It is best that you tell your attorney too much information than to omit something that should have been disclosed.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!