The benefits and legal protections of bankruptcy are vast. In exchange for having your debts erased, stopping collection action, and receiving other benefits, bankruptcy law requires that you give full disclosure of your finances in your bankruptcy petition. You are required to list your debts, assets, income, and expenses. You are also required to complete a Statement of Financial Affairs, which requires you to list recent transfers of property and other details about your finances.
It is imperative that you are truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge in your bankruptcy forms, as they are filed with the bankruptcy court under the penalty of perjury. Purposefully omitting information can amount to bankruptcy fraud―a federal crime.
Bankruptcy Forms Are Complex
Bankruptcy cases rely heavily on the bankruptcy forms, which are national federal court forms. While there are standard national forms, local jurisdictions often have certain forms that are custom to their district. For example, many local jurisdictions use their own Chapter 13 Plan form in place of the federal form.
The bankruptcy forms are not simple, check-a-box forms. They are in-depth, complex forms that relate heavily to accompanying U.S. Bankruptcy Code sections and require specific information about financial affairs that must be calculated in delineated ways.
The necessary bankruptcy forms include, but are not limited to:
- Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
- Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information
- Schedule A & B: Property
- Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
- Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured By Property
- Schedule E & F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
- Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
- Schedule H: Your Codebtors
- Schedule I: Your Income
- Schedule J: Your Expenses
- Statement of Financial Affairs
- Chapter 7 only: Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
- Chapter 13 only: Chapter 13 Plan
- Statement About Your Social Security Number
- Means Test Forms
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can gather the necessary information and documentation from you to complete the forms. Then, prior to filing, you should review the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and forms page by page to ensure they are complete and accurate.
Bankruptcy Form Mistakes Are Costly
While honest mistakes made on the bankruptcy forms can generally be corrected, doing so can be time consuming and expensive. Intentional untruths and purposeful omissions made in the bankruptcy forms can amount to bankruptcy fraud, which is punishable by up to 5-years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000.
Mistakes in your bankruptcy forms can cost you otherwise exempt (protected) property, money, or even your freedom.
Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.