When filing bankruptcy, a debtor in New York must use the official bankruptcy court forms. For example, a person living in New York would file a petition that states the district where the person is filing at on the top of the form. On the first page of the petition, a debtor fills out name, address, and social security number. A person filing bankruptcy should be sure to have his/her identification and social security card in order because the person will be asked to prove his/her identity during several stages in the bankruptcy process, from the meeting with the attorney to the hearing with the trustee.
If an individual’s spouse files bankruptcy also, the spouse needs to provide name, address, and social security number. Each debtor signs the petition, and should be present to sign with the attorney or legal staff if represented prior to filing the petition. One spouse cannot sign for another spouse. Official bankruptcy forms are downloadable at www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html.
Unless the court orders otherwise, the New York debtor files with the court in a Chapter 13 case:
• schedule of current income and expenditures;
• schedules of assets and liabilities;
• schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases; and
• statement of financial affairs.
The bankruptcy process may be scary when a person has to reveal all his/her assets and liabilities to the public, but a person needs to remember that life is good. There will always be challenging moments like getting into financial distress for not getting a job even when upbeat during an interview, but at the same time, there will be unexpected moments of generosity when a stranger treats someone to Starbucks hot chocolate, when someone orders orange to find out it is freshly squeezed, and when instead of taking the bus home, a person gets a limo ride to his/her door. No one ever knows when the great moments come up. Bankruptcy allows the person suffering debt to live for those moments.
In a Chapter 13, the schedule on current income and expenditures of debtor requires the New York debtor to disclose monthly income (from W-2 employee wages, IRS Form 1099 independent contractor income, retirement account, real estate rent), tax deductions, alimony or child support; and monthly bills (like car upkeep, income taxes, drinks, clothing, medical).
Look to an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney to help fill out official bankruptcy forms or set an appointment for a consultation that evaluates whether bankruptcy is the option for taking care of debts.