Documents You Need While Filing For Bankruptcy In California

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in California, there are several things that you need to take into your careful consideration. First of all, it is very important for you to keep in mind that the laws regarding bankruptcy filing may vary significantly depending upon the state you are filing the petition in. Following is a brief rundown on some of the different types of documents that you need to file as part of the process of bankruptcy filing in the state of California.

Form 22A

This is the form for means test. As per the changes introduced in the US bankruptcy code in the year 2005, it has now become mandatory for every debtor to first pass a means test before filing for bankruptcy in California. The means test helps you determine whether you are above or below the median income of your state (for the same household size). You will have to complete the long form if your monthly income is above the state median income. If your income is below the median income, you will have to fill out and submit the short form. You will have to provide some basic information in this form, such as about the amount of money you earn every month from your regular income sources, your expenses, and your household size.

Debtor’s Statement Of Intention Form

If you are filing your petition under chapter 7 of the US bankruptcy code, you will also have to file a Debtor’s Statement of Intention Form, where you need to mention whether you want to surrender a specific property or you want to keep it by agreeing to continue making payments toward the secured loans associated with that property. Though exemptions are allowed on majority of the assets and properties, sometimes the exemption limit is not high enough to allow you to keep a specific property. For example, if the exemption limit on vehicle is $3500 only while you have $3000 of equity on it and still owe $1000 toward the auto loan, you can choose form one of the two options – you can either surrender the car and get $3000 in cash or you can agree to continue making the payments toward the outstanding car loan of $1000. While you are filing for bankruptcy in California, you will have to mention these details in the Debtor’s Statement of Intention Form.

Statement Of Financial Affairs

The filing process also requires you to provide detailed information about your current income as well as the income for the past two years. For this, you need to file a specific bankruptcy form that is known as Statement of Financial Affairs. In this form, you will be required to provide some other information also, such as closed financial accounts in the previous year; repossession, garnishments, and lawsuits from the last year; and transfers of property in the last two years.

Debtor’s Certification of Employment Income

Debtor’s Certification of Employment Income is another important piece of document that you need to fill out and submit while you are filing for bankruptcy in California. Do not forget to attach your proof of income along with this form. You also need to mention in this form about your employment status in the last two months – whether you were unemployed or employed.

Schedules A-J

- In schedule J, you have to provide details regarding your current monthly expenses.
- In schedule I, you need to provide details about your current monthly income and about your current employment (such as, how long you have been employed, the name of the company, and other such things).
- Schedule H requires you to mention the details of the co-signers (if any) who are liable for any debts that you have listed in your petition while you are filing for bankruptcy in California.
- If you are currently liable for any contracts or leases, you need to provide the details about the same in the schedule G.
- In schedule F, you have to provide the details of your unsecured creditors, such as student loans, medical bills, personal loans, credit cards, and others.
- Priority debts, such as child support payments, alimony payments, taxes owed, and other such debts must be listed thoroughly in the schedule E.
- The list of secured creditors should be provided in the schedule D.
- The laws allow you to claim exemptions up to a certain limit on majority of assets and properties. It is in schedule C, where you need to provide the list of all those assets and properties you are claiming the exemptions for.
- You also need to disclose a complete list of personal properties that you own, such as retirement plans, life insurance, your clothes, jewelry, automobiles, and other household goods.
- The schedule A should include details of the real estate properties that you own, such as, timeshare, burial plot, and home.

Summary Of Schedules

While you are filing for bankruptcy in California, you also need to fill out and submit a summary of schedules, where as the term suggests, you have to summarize your liabilities and assets.

Declaration Regarding Debtor’s Schedules

In this form, you need to declare that the information you provided in the schedules A-J and in the summary of schedules are complete and accurate.

B1 Form – The Voluntary Petition

Since you are filing your bankruptcy petition voluntarily, you will also need to fill out and submit the B1 form that should include generation information, such as whether you are attaching the certificate from a government approved credit counselor, details of prior bankruptcy cases in the last 8 years (if applicable), whether you are filing under chapter 7 or chapter 13, whether you are filing individually or jointly, and other basic details, such as your name and address.

There are certain other documents also that you need to submit while you are filing for bankruptcy in California, such as a creditor mailing list, a Statement of Social Security, and additional documents as required by local court rules.

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