ALERT: As part of a multi-year court project to modernize the Official Bankruptcy Forms and make them more consumer-friendly, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has recently revised most of the consumer bankruptcy forms (several had already been revised in 2013 and 2014). The changes became effective on December 1, 2015. The revisions involved reformatting, renaming, and renumbering the forms, and in a few instances, combining two forms into one. You can find the new forms here: www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms. We are in the process of revising all of our articles to comport with the new forms. Check back soon.
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a packet of forms that gives the court detailed information about your income, expenses, debts, assets, and financial situation. On one of those forms, Schedule H – Codebtors, you must list all of your codebtors. Codebtors are people or entities that are also liable for any of the debts you listed in your bankruptcy papers.
Here you’ll learn about common types of codebtors, how to get Schedule H, and how to 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
The most common codebtors that you must list on Schedule H include:
- guarantors (people who guarantee payment of a loan)
- ex-spouses with whom you jointly incurred debts before divorcing
- joint owners of real estate or other property
- coparties 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
You can find the most recent version of Schedule H 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.
How to Complete Schedule H
On Schedule H you list the name and address of all codebtors that are also liable for debts that you listed on Schedules D, E, and F. If you don't have any codebtors, check the box that says that and move on to the next form. 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.
- You must also list any spouse or former spouse that, within the previous eight years, lived with you in Puerto Rico or a community property state. (The community property states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.)
(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.