When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have to complete and file something called Schedule D – Creditors Holding Secured Claims. On this form, you list all creditors who hold claims secured by your property.
(To learn about the other forms you must file, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.)
How to Get Schedule D
You can find the most recent version of Schedule D on the U.S. Court’s website at www.uscourts.gov. To learn more about getting the official and other forms, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.
What Is a Secured Claim?
A secured claim is a debt for which a piece of property serves as a guarantee for payment. If you don’t pay the debt, the creditor can take the property. Some secured claims are debts for which you voluntarily pledge property as security (like a mortgage or car loan). Other secured claims are formed without your consent (for example, a tax lien or a judgment lien).
Creditors that hold claims secured by your property include:
- holders of a mortgage or deed of trust on your real estate
- creditors who have won lawsuits against you and recorded judgment liens against your property
- doctors or lawyers to whom you have granted a security interest in the outcome of a lawsuit, so that the collection of their fees would be postponed (the expected court judgment is the collateral)
- contractors who have filed mechanic’s or materialman’s liens on your real estate
- taxing authorities, such as the IRS, that have obtained tax liens against your property
- creditors with either a purchase-money or nonpurchase-money security agreement (see “What Is the Nature of the Lien” below), and
- all parties who are trying to collect a secured debt, such as collection agencies and attorneys.
Note that credit card debt is almost always unsecured, but there are some exceptions. To learn more, see When Credit Card Debt Is Secured.
What If the Creditor Already Took the Property?
If you originally had a secured debt but the collateral was repossessed or foreclosed prior to your bankruptcy filing, the remaining debt is no longer secured. Such a debt should be listed on Schedule F (Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims), not Schedule D.
How to Complete Schedule D
Here are some general guidelines for completing Schedule D.
If You Don’t Have Any Secured Creditors
In this situation, check the box after the introductory instructions on the form.
Listing Your Secured Creditors
In the first column of Schedule D, list each creditor’s name, mailing address, and the last four digits of your account. If possible, list them in alphabetical order.
If someone else owes the debt with you, put an “x” in the second column of Schedule D. If the codebtor is your spouse and you are filing a joint bankruptcy, leave the column blank. Some examples of codebtors include:
- ex-spouses with whom youo jointly incurred debts
- joint owners of real estate
- coparties in a lawsuit
- nonfiling spouses in community property states, and
- nonfiling spouses in states other than community property states if the debt was incurred for basic living necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and utilities.
Husband, Wife, Joint, or Community?
The third column of Schedule D only applies if you are married. For each piece of property, state whether the husband owns the property (H), the wife owns the property (W), the husband and wife own the property jointly (J), or the property is community property (C).
To learn more about property ownership among spouses, see Separate and Community Property During Marriage: Who Owns What?
If you are part of a same-sex married couple, how the court will treat your union, and how you should complete the forms will vary by district. It would be very wise to consult with a bankruptcy attorney familiar with these issues.
What is the Nature of the Lien?
You must provide a lot of information in the fourth column of Schedule D, including:
- the date you incurred the lien – this is usually the date you signed the security agreement or the date a lien or judgment was recorded against your property
- the nature of the lien – this is the type of property interest the secured creditor has. To learn about the different types of liens, see Types of Liens.
- a description of the property subject to the lien, and
- the value of the property.
Is the Claim Contingent, Unliquidated, or Disputed?
In the fifth, sixth, and seventh columns of Schedule D, you must note whether a particular claim is contingent, unliquidated, or disputed. You may have to check more than one box. To learn what these terms mean, see When Is a Bankruptcy Claim Contingent, Unliquidated, or Disputed?
Amount of Claim Without Deducting Value of Collateral
Here you list the amount it would take to pay off the creditor.
Unsecured Portion, If Any
In the final column of Schedule D, you list any portion of the debt that is not secured. If the value of the property is less than the claim, you enter the difference between the two. However, if the value of the property is more than the claim, you enter "0" since the entire amount of the claim is secured.
This article provides general information only. There are many legal issues involved and important decisions to be made when filing for bankruptcy. You must understand the entire This article provides general information only. There are many legal issues involved and important decisions to be made when filing for bankruptcy. You must understand the entire bankruptcy process, learn about the applicable federal and state laws, and determine how those laws will affect your particular situation before you complete the bankruptcy forms. If you want to file bankruptcy without a lawyer, use a good do-it-yourself book like Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to ensure you make well informed decisions about your bankruptcy case.