When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor in New York must use official court forms. On the first page of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, a debtor completes his name, address, and social security number. If the spouse does not file, the spouse files a form indicating the spouse does not file. If the spouse files also, the spouse provides name, address, and social security number. If there are children, the names of dependent children and their social security numbers are listed. Each debtor signs the Chapter 13 petition. Official Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms are downloadable at www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html.
Some petitioners may wonder why they must disclose the names and social security numbers of their children. One reason is that people in debt are known to hide assets by opening bank accounts or retitling property in the names of family members. Disclosing the information allows a court and the bankruptcy trustee to keep an eye out for fraud.
Unless the bankruptcy court orders otherwise, the NY debtor files with the court a statement of financial affairs and schedules on:
• assets and liabilities;
• income and expenditures;
• executory contracts and unexpired leases.
The schedule on current income and expenses of a debtor requires the NY debtor to disclose monthly income (from wages, child support or alimony, independent contractor income, retirement account, real estate rent), tax deductions; and monthly expenses (such as medical, car maintenance, taxes, food, clothing).
In the schedules of liabilities and assets, the NY debtor provides the address location of property he owns, amount of secured claim, and the market value estimated from the sales price of other homes in the neighborhood. The debtor lists everything that is not real property like shoes, cash, savings accounts, furniture, clothing, jewelry, guns, insurance, and annuities. On the liabilities, the debtor lists the creditor names, addresses, account numbers, debt amounts, and collateral. For unsecured priority claims, the debtor lists the creditor account numbers, addresses, names, and debt amounts. On creditors with unsecured non-priority claims, the debtor lists the creditor names, account numbers, addresses, and debt amounts. The bankruptcy estate pays non-priority claims last.
To ensure a bankruptcy petition is complete for filing, debtors can engage an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney to complete official bankruptcy forms.