Filing bankruptcy can help alleviate heavy debt, but, before you can reap the benefits, you must provide financial information by filling out official bankruptcy forms. On Schedule A/B: Property, you'll list all of the property you own on the date you file for bankruptcy. This article explains where to find—and how to complete—Schedule A/B: Property.
(You can learn about other official forms by reading Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.)
All of it. The bankruptcy court wants a complete picture of your financial situation, including the value of everything you own. You'll satisfy this requirement by listing your property on this schedule under the following broad categories:
Within these categories are questions about 45 different types of property, so forgetting to list property shouldn't be an issue—which, of course, is what the court is trying to prevent. When in doubt, list it.
This type of property is often called real property—land and things permanently attached to land—and it includes more than just a house. For example, you'll also list unimproved land, vacation cabins, condominiums, duplexes, rental property, business property, mobile home park spaces, agricultural land, airplane hangars, and any other buildings permanently attached to land.
In this section, you'll include the following information:
(Most states allow you to protect some equity in a residential home. Find out more in The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy.)
Almost everyone has a car or two. Here, the "vehicles" category includes more than just the car you drive to work. If you own something that has a motor and can transport you somewhere—whether it be by road, water, or air—you list it here. This includes cars, vans, trucks, tractors, sport utility vehicles, motorcycles, watercraft—such as boats and jet skis – aircraft, motorhomes, snowmobiles, ATV's, and recreational vehicles. It also includes all accessories you use along with these vehicles, such as trailers and motorcycle sidecars.
You'll describe each vehicle by including the following information:
(Learn how to protect your vehicle by reading The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Bankruptcy.)
These are the items you use in your home every day. Again, the court wants to know about all of them. Below are examples of typical household goods and furnishings organized by the rooms in your home.
Additionally, you're asked to disclose information about the electronics, sports and hobby equipment, firearms, clothes, jewelry, pets, and other items you own.
In this section, you'll list all of your financial assets, including the asset's value and location. Here are the categories outlined in the form:
If you own a business, the court wants to know about the business property. If your business is service-oriented, such as an accounting practice, you might only have office equipment and accounts receivable to disclose. A plumber, however, might also have plumbing tools and trucks. If you sell products in a storefront, such as a pet store, you'll also list all of your inventory. It is more likely that you'll list business property if you are a sole proprietor or a part of a partnership since you retain personal interest in the property, as opposed to owning shares of a corporation. In that case, the corporation retains the ownership interest in its property and you don't list it on this schedule.
If you own a farm or a commercial fishing operation, you'll list all business-related property in this special section.
If your property doesn't fall into one of the above categories, you'll list it towards the end of the form.
At the bottom of Schedule A/B, provide the total value of all of your property.
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 by Attorney Cara O'Neill and Albin Renauer, J.D., to ensure you make well-informed decisions about your bankruptcy case.