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If you are looking for an excellent bankruptcy attorney in or around Greenville, Morehead City, or Rocky Mount, NC, look no further! Contact any of our offices at Craft Law; we can’t wait to work with you. We strive to make filing for bankruptcy a less frustrating process for you and your loved ones so that you can be well on your way to financial security.

Any good bankruptcy attorney should help you fill out bankruptcy forms as you’re filing, but you may still have some questions about these forms. Official bankruptcy paperwork is straightforward for the most part; there are instructions provided at the top of each page and in the left-hand column next to each question. Here are some things you should keep in mind as you fill out the paperwork to file for bankruptcy:

Identifying Information

The Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy form acts as the cover sheet for your paperwork. On it, you’ll provide your name and address, as well as:

  • your social security number
  • the name of any businesses you own
  • the bankruptcy chapter you intend to file
  • how you plan to pay the filing fee
  • whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy within the last eight years
  • your home rental status
  • whether you own any hazardous property, and
  • whether you’ve completed your credit counseling course.

If you’re filing a joint petition, you’ll include your spouse’s information, too.

Your Property

You’ll describe all of the property that you own on Schedule A/B: Property, including:

  • real estate
  • cars, vans, trucks, tractors, SUVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles
  • watercraft, aircraft, motor homes, and other recreational vehicles
  • personal and household items (furnishings, electronics, collectibles, sporting and hobby equipment, firearms, clothing, jewelry, pets)
  • financial assets (bank accounts, cash, retirement accounts, investments)
  • money owed to you (tax refunds, domestic support, loans, inheritance, lawsuits against other people)
  • business and business-related property, and
  • all other assets you own.

Your Exempt Property

You’ll list the law that allows you to keep particular assets on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt. You’ll find the applicable law in your state’s exemption statutes.

Your Collateralized Debt

When your creditor has the right to take property (collateral) if you fall behind on your payment, the debt is a secured bankruptcy claim, and you’ll list it on Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property. Car loans and mortgages are two of the most common types of collateralized loans. (For an explanation of other legal terms that appear on the debt forms, see When Is a Bankruptcy Claim Contingent, Unliquidated, or Disputed?)

Your Other Debt

You’ll list your remaining debt on Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims, including priority claims, such as:

  • child and spousal support
  • taxes and obligations to the government, and
  • claims for death or personal injury that occurred while you were intoxicated.

You’ll also list credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans, utility bills, and any other debt you might have.Am I required to include all of my creditors?

It’s common to want to exclude a creditor—and some people erroneously believe it’s okay to do so. For instance, you might not want to disclose a credit card you’d like to keep open for travel expenses, an account you use to pay for your pet’s veterinary bills, a debt owed to a relative or close friend that you feel obligated to pay, or a small bill that you’d prefer to pay off yourself.

However, the rule is that you cannot exclude an obligation for any reason. No matter what the circumstances, you must report all of your creditors in your bankruptcy case.

The rule is in place because you cannot favor one creditor over another. If funds are available for creditors, the bankruptcy trustee—the official tasked with overseeing the case—will disperse the money according to the priority of the debt. For instance, a creditor who is owed overdue spousal support will receive payment before a credit card company.

If you omit a creditor, you could remain responsible for the debt after your bankruptcy case. Worse yet, if a judge believes that the omission was an attempt to defraud the creditor or the court, you could be subject to a penalty of up to $250,000, 20 years in prison, or both.