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Understanding Bankruptcy Forms: The Schedules A, B, and C
One of the most important forms in an individual bankruptcy filing (as opposed to a business filing) is the Schedule of Assets and Liabilities (Official Form 106) which actually includes 10 other forms, a few of which are discussed below. How to fill out these forms is something you want to understand deeply before beginning. Be sure to read below and review the forms’ instructions carefully.
Schedule A/B Form: Property
(Official Form 106A/B) lists all properties owned by the person seeking bankruptcy protection. This includes property that you own only partially or equitably. A partial ownership would include a home with a partly paid mortgage or a car with a lien on it and an example of equitable interest is a property promised to a trust beneficiary who does not own the property yet, by the rules of the trust, but will at a certain date.
You will notice in Part 3 of the form that it gives examples of various types of property. Under the category, “Household goods and furnishings,” it provides examples such as “Major appliances, furniture, linens, china, kitchenware.” These are not exhaustive lists. They are representative. Under “Household goods,” you could also list a doghouse, for example.
Where it says, “current value,” the form is asking for the fair market value of the item at the time you filed the bankruptcy petition. And, of course, reduce that fair market value by the percentage of the property that you do not own. So, if you co-own your house with your spouse, the current value of the property you own is only 50 percent of the fair market value of the house. Make sure the values you list on this form match the values you list on other forms.
Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
(Official Form 106C) lists the property that you believe you are entitled to keep. If you do not claim the property on this form, it will not be exempted, despite your rights under the law. Before filling out this form, you have to decide whether you will use your state exemptions or the federal exemptions. The Bankruptcy Code requires you to have had your domicile in the state for 730 days to qualify for the state exemptions, although there are certain exceptions to this rule. If you and your spouse jointly file, you must use the same set of exemptions.
You may only list property that is also listed on Schedule A/B. Generally, you describe your exemption in terms of the dollar amount you are claiming, but it is also acceptable to put a percentage of fair market value, especially if there is no way to calculate the dollar amount, such as the unlimited exemption that exists for health aids. If you want to claim the entire exemption, just put, “100 percent of fair market value.”
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