Completing Bankruptcy's Schedule H: Your Codebtors
On Schedule H of the bankruptcy petition you must list all of your codebtors.
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete forms that give the court detailed information about your income, expenses, debts, assets, and financial situation. On one of those forms, Schedule H: Your Codebtors, you must list all of the people or companies that are also responsible for the debts listed in your bankruptcy papers. Here you’ll learn about common types of codebtors, as well as how to find and fill out Schedule H.
(To learn about the other forms you must file in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.)
Common Types of Codebtors
Codebtors are other people or businesses that are also responsible, or liable, for paying your debts if you don’t pay. Examples of common codebtors that you must list on Schedule H include:
- cosigners (such as someone who helps you buy a car when your income or credit isn’t adequate)
- guarantors (someone who guarantees they will pay for something if you don’t)
- ex-spouses who were responsible for the debt along with you before you got a divorce
- others on your real estate mortgage
- others sued along with you in a lawsuit
- nonfiling spouses in a community property state (most debts incurred in a community property state by a nonfiling spouse during marriage are considered community debts, making that spouse equally liable with the filing spouse for the debts), and
- nonfiling spouses in states other than community property states, for debts incurred by the filing spouse for basic living necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and utilities.
Getting Schedule H
How to Complete Schedule H
First, you’ll check the box indicating whether you have any codebtors. If you check no, you’re done with the form. If you have codebtors, you’ll then check the box that tells the court if you’ve lived in a community property state in the last eight years. Community property states include:
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico
In the last section, there are two columns of information to complete. In the first column, Column 1: Your codebtor, you’ll list the name and address of the codebtor. In the second column, Column 2: The creditor to whom you owe the debt, you’ll check the schedule and line that the debt appears on (Schedules D, E/F, and G). The debt may be on more than one schedule.
Here are a few more instructions:
- Do not list your spouse if you and your spouse are filing a joint bankruptcy petition.
- If you are not filing with your spouse and your spouse owes some debts with you, you must list all names your spouse used within the previous eight years.
(To learn what happens to your codebtors’ liability for debts when you file for bankruptcy, see Will Your Cosigner Be Liable for Debt If You File for Bankruptcy?)
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.