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What are Bankruptcy Schedules?
by Adam Mack
Bankruptcy schedules are forms created by congressional committee for the purpose of disclosing information necessary for the effective filing and processing of a case. There are ten schedules in all and they are organized alphabetically ranging from Schedule A to Schedule J. The schedules disclose your assets (i.e. your property) and your liabilities (i.e. your debts). Together the schedules are supposed to paint a thorough and relatively simple outline of what you own and who you owe money to. The purpose of the specific schedules are outlined below:
SCHEDULES A -B IDENTIFY YOUR PROPERTY
- Schedule A - Real Property: this is where you list any property you may have an ownership interest in. Seems simple right? Do not be so sure. Even when you are dealing with a relatively straightforward issue, there are always nuances, particularly if you live in a mobile home, have multiple mortgage on one property, or own multiple properties.
- Schedule B - Personal Property: this includes everything you own that is not real estate. The title of the schedule is a little deceiving from a legal/technical standpoint, because you list more than just your personal effects which is usually described as personal property. In addition, you must disclose any intangible or intellectual property you also have ownership interest in.
SCHEDULE C IDENTIFIES WHAT PROPERTY IS EXEMPT
- Schedule C - Exemptions: on this schedule you identify the property you believe is exempt. It is important to note here that Kansas bankruptcy exemptions are different than those provided under federal law and Kansas is an "opt out" state, which means it does not use the federal exemptions unless they are incorporated by the state statutes.
SCHEDULES E-H IDENTIFY YOUR CREDITORS AND CO-DEBTORS
- Schedule D - Secured Creditors: here you identify your secured creditors and what property you own that is securing that particular debt.
- Schedule E - Priority Creditors: some creditors are given special status in bankruptcy, these creditors are listed here. The most common of these types of creditors include people you owe a domestic support obligation (i.e. child support or spousal support/maintenance/alimony) and tax debts. However, priority creditors are broader than just that, so be sure to be thorough when completing your schedules.
- Schedule F - General Unsecured Creditors: if a creditor does not fit into the secured or priority categories, then they fall into this schedule. Generally this schedule consists of a lot of unsecured personal loans, unsecured credit cards/lines, medical bills, etc.
- Schedule G - Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases: this is where you list any contracts under which you still owe an obligation and state the treatment you want that contract/lease to receive under the bankruptcy. Exactly what is an executory contract has been a subject of litigation and involves many technical nuances.
SCHEDULES I-J IDENTIFY YOUR INCOME, EXPENSES, AND DISPOSABLE INCOME
- Schedule I - Income: This is where you identify how much money you (and your spouse depending on how you file your bankruptcy) make each month. It allows you to adjust for deductions out of your paycheck, such as taxes, union dues, etc.
- Schedule J - Regular Monthly Expenses and Disposable Income: on this schedule you fill out a budget to help the Court, the trustee, and your creditors understand what your cost of living is and how much "disposable income" you may have.
Do not let the fact that these bankruptcy Schedules are forms fool you. They can be very technical and the ripple effect of the information you put on these schedules can be significant, and even painful to the debtor(s) filing the bankruptcy if not done correctly or without proper planning. There are many qualified Topeka bankruptcy lawyers. If you are considering filing, you should consult with a lawyer first.