After your attorney consultation with your attorney at Bankruptcy Legal Center, your attorney will prepare a tailored list of documents needed to file bankruptcy, tailored to your unique situation. Your attorney will also give you a comprehensive bankruptcy questionnaire that will uncover much of the information needed for preparing and filing your case. Your attorney will then use the documents gathered, as well as your responses to the detailed questions on the questionnaire form, to prepare the official bankruptcy forms required by the Court for your filing, including: (a) the Petition; (b) the Schedules; (c) the Statement of Financial Affairs; (d) the Means Test form; and (e) certain other documents and forms that are required by law and by local court rules in order to process your bankruptcy filing.
During the preparation process, your lawyer will be in contact with you regarding the requested documents that you have provided as well as the information listed on your questionnaire. There will be questions that will come up on both sides. You will likely have questions for us, and we will have questions regarding the information and documents that you have provided to us. We will utilize all of the information you provide to us, as well as our due diligence, such as reviewing your credit report and available public records, to prepare your Petition and Schedules.
The Petition serves essentially as the cover sheet to your bankruptcy filing. It states general information, including, among other things, your name and address, your bankruptcy filing Chapter, an estimate of your assets and debts, any recent bankruptcies that you have previously filed in the past 8 years, and the venue, which refers to the basis for filing bankruptcy in San Diego, California as opposed to somewhere else.
The Schedules are the meat of your bankruptcy filing. They provide detailed information about your assets, debts, income and expenses. The Schedules are composed of ten (10) individual Schedules, named Schedules A through Schedule J.
On Schedules A through C, your lawyer will list your assets and state why you get to keep them. Schedule A lists your real estate assets, not just in San Diego, California, but anywhere in the world. Schedule B lists all of your other assets, called your personal property, wherever located. Schedule C lists your exemptions, which are legal reasons why you get to keep your assets.
On Schedules D through F, your lawyer will list your debts, which are called claims, referring to the claims that your creditors have against you. Schedule D lists secured claims (debts), such as home loans and car loans. Schedule E lists priority unsecured claims (debts), such as back taxes, past due child support, and alimony obligations. Schedule F lists general unsecured claims (debts), such as credit cards, collections accounts, and other similar types of debts.
On Schedule G, your lawyer will list any executory contracts such as leases of real estate or personal property leases.
On Schedule H, your lawyer will list any codebtors, that is, a person who is jointly liable to your creditors on the same debts that you are liable on, such as a cosigner. If you are married and filing bankruptcy alone, your non-filing spouse will frequently be a codebtor.
On Schedules I and J, your lawyer will list your current income and expenses. Schedule I lists your current income. Schedule J lists your current expenses.
The Statement of Financial Affairs follows the Schedules. This document discloses certain aspects of your financial affairs. On this statement, your attorney will list how much money you made over the last couple of years as reflected on your tax returns, any lawsuits to which you have been a party during the past year, any recent repossessions or foreclosures, any bank accounts that you have closed during the past, businesses you have owned or controlled over the past 6 years, and certain other financial transactions and affairs.
The Means Test form follows the petition, schedules, and statement of affairs. This document is prepared by your attorney to show the court that you qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, or if you are filing under Chapter 13 the form serves to determine your available disposable income for Chapter 13 plan purposes.
Once your attorney finalizes your Petition, Schedules and Statements, you will come into our office in downtown San Diego to meet with your San Diego bankruptcy attorney and sign your Petition, Schedules and Statements. After you sign, your attorney will file these papers with the Court and this will form your bankruptcy filing.