In order to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Louis and Southern Illinois, you must complete a number of forms, also known as schedules. To complete these bankruptcy forms, you will need:
- at least six months’ worth of pay stubs
- your most recent federal and state tax returns
- your most recent bills and/or collection letters
Schedules A/B. Real and Personal Property
On Schedules A and B, you will list every asset that you own. This includes real estate, vehicles, household items, jewelry, sporting equipment, firearms, pets, bank accounts, and much more. You will also be asked to describe each piece of property.
Schedule C. The Property You Claim as Exempt
Even if you have property that is protected under bankruptcy, you must disclose it on Schedule C. A failure to do so could result in criminal prosecution and having your case thrown out. Furthermore, any property that is not exempted could be seized and sold, so it is important to complete this section with care.
Schedule D. Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Your Property
A secured debt is one where the creditor has the right to take back the property if you do not make the necessary payments. In Schedule D, you will list any secured debts you hold. The most common types of secured debts are car loans and mortgages.
Schedules E/F. Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
All other debts must be listed on Schedules E and F. Your unsecured debts may include child or spousal support, taxes, credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. You must list every debt on these forms, no matter how small or personal. Excluding a creditor could be perceived as fraud in the eyes of the bankruptcy court.
Schedule G. Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
Schedule G is intended for any contracts you may have entered into that have not yet expired. For example, a cell phone contract, furniture rental, or gym membership might fall into this category.
Schedule H. Your Codebtors
Your codebtors are anyone who would be responsible for your debts if you do not pay. Examples of codebtors include a cosigner on a lease or car loan or a joint credit card holder. You must list codebtors on Schedule H.
Schedule I. Your Income
You will share information about your employment and income on Schedule I. Information on this form will be used in Schedule J to determine your net income.
Schedule J. Your Expenses
After listing all your expenses on Schedule J, you will subtract the total from your income in Schedule I. The difference will be your total monthly disposable income.
To complete this summary form, you will transfer the totals you arrived at while filling Schedules A-J. This form gives the court a complete overview of your property, debt, income, and expenses.
On the Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules form, you will swear that you are telling the truth on the previous forms. There are severe penalties for providing incorrect or incomplete information, including prison time and substantial fines.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
In addition to the schedules that all bankruptcy filers must complete, those who wish to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy must fill out several forms that are specific to Chapter 7.
Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
If you are still making payments on property, such as your home or your car, you have the option either to keep the property and continue paying for it, or return it to the lender. In the Statement of Intention form, you will declare your intent to either keep or return each piece of property.
Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income
In this form, you will list all income you received in the six months before you file for bankruptcy. If it is lower than the median income in your state, you are eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is higher than the median state income, you are required to complete the Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation.
Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation
You use the Means Test to deduct certain allowed expenses from your income. These include housing costs, child care, utilities, and taxes. If you don’t have any disposable income remaining after deducting your necessary expenses, you pass the test and will be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Forms
Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers must also complete several forms in addition to bankruptcy Schedules A-J.
Chapter 13 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period
This form determines how long your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will last. Using this form, you will calculate whether your income falls above or below the median income in your state. If it falls below, your bankruptcy will last three years. If your income is higher than the median, your bankruptcy could last as long as five years.
Chapter 13 Calculation of Your Disposable Income
Using this form, you will subtract your monthly expenses from your income to determine the disposable income you have to pay unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills.
Chapter 13 Plan
Once your monthly income, your plan duration, and your disposable income have been determined, you can calculate your Chapter 13 payment plan. This will include amounts for priority debts such as taxes and child support, house and car payments, administrative fees, and more.
Get Help with Bankruptcy Forms
Bankruptcy forms are confusing, and mistakes can cost you your case. Don’t gamble with your financial future—get help from a professional. As a licensed bankruptcy attorney and certified public accountant (CPA), St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer Michael J. Benson has the expertise to help you repair and rebuild your finances. Contact our offices today to schedule a free initial consultation.