When you file for bankruptcy relief, you must fully disclose all of your finances. This includes the requirement that you have to disclose all assets, along with disclosing all of your debts, your income and your expenses. Recent sales or transfers of assets must also be listed, with details. How you disclose your assets is by listing them in Schedule A and Schedule B of your bankruptcy schedules.
Do You Have to Disclose All Assets When You File Bankruptcy?
You absolutely must disclose all of your assets when you file bankruptcy. Your real estate, including your home, rental property, commercial property, or vacant land, is disclosed in your Schedule A. You must list all of your interests in real estate, even if you are not on title and have only an “equitable” interest, meaning that record ownership is not in your name but in actually you have an interest in the property. For example, you may have purchased a home using a family member’s credit and the property is in a family member’s name, but in reality it is your property and you make the loan payments. In such a case, while you are not on title, you still have an equitable interest in the property that you must disclose. Similarly, if title is in your spouse’s name and the payments are made from community funds (money earned by either spouse during marriage), you have a community property interest in the real estate and must list that interest on Schedule A of your schedules. You must also disclose recent transfers or sales of assets on your Statement of Financial Affairs.
You must disclose all of your other assets (other than real estate), which in legal terms is called your personal property, on Schedule B. You must list: (a) how much cash on hand you have; (b) your bank accounts and how much money you have in your accounts or other financial accounts; (c) the value of your household goods and personal effects; (d) stocks that you own and how much value they have; (e) tax refunds owed to you and how much is owed; (f) cars and trucks that you own and their value; and (g) anything else that you own. Your attorney can help you with valuation of your various items according to commonly accepted legal standards and present your case in the most favorable light possible.
It is very important that you honestly disclose all assets. The bankruptcy laws afford the honest debtor a fresh start. The laws provide stiff penalties for hiding or not disclosing assets, including a fine of up to $250,000 and possibly jail time. It is absolutely recommended that you truthfully disclose all of your assets when you file bankruptcy. As long as you accurately disclose all assets that you own on Schedule A and Schedule B, your filing should go smoothly, assuming you have an attorney that knows how to perfectly prepare and flawlessly execute your bankruptcy, which an experienced and reputable bankruptcy attorney would be expected to be able to accomplish.