by: Baran Bulkat, Attorney
When you file for bankruptcy, one of the most important and lengthy forms you must fill out is the Statement of Financial Affairs. Read on to learn more about how to complete the Statement of Financial Affairs.
What Is the Statement of Financial Affairs?
The purpose of the Statement of Financial Affairs is to provide information to the court about all of your financial dealings. It is a lengthy and extensive form involving questions about your income, property transfers, business, lawsuits, payments to creditors, and more.
How to Fill Out the Statement of Financial Affairs
The questions on the Statement of Financial Affairs have very specific requirements as to what must be disclosed on the form. You typically only have to disclose certain events if they occurred within a specified time frame or involved a certain monetary amount. This means it's important to read each question carefully before answering it.
The following is a summary of what must be disclosed on the Statement of Financial Affairs:
Question 1. Disclose your year-to-date gross employment or business income received as of your filing date as well as for the two years prior to bankruptcy.
Question 2. Disclose all income received from sources other than employment or operation of a business for the two years preceding bankruptcy.
Question 3. List all payments and transfers made to creditors within the 90 days preceding your bankruptcy filing if they exceed $600 in aggregate if you primarily have consumer debts or $6,225 if your obligations are not primarily consumer debts. If you made any payments or transfers to insiders (such as family members or business partners) within one year before your bankruptcy, list them regardless of the amount. The bankruptcy trustee will use this information to see if a preferential payment occurred that can trigger the clawback provision of the Bankruptcy Code.
Question 4. List all lawsuits or legal proceedings you were a party to and describe any of your property that was seized within one year of your bankruptcy.
Question 5. List all repossessions, foreclosures, or property returned to creditors within one of your bankruptcy.
Question 6. Describe all assignments of property to creditors made in the 120 days preceding your filing date. Also, list all property that was in the custody of a receiver, custodian, or other court appointed official within one year of your bankruptcy.
Question 7. Disclose all gifts and charitable contributions you made within one year of your bankruptcy except gifts to family valued less than $200 per family member or charitable contributions of less than $100 in aggregate per recipient.
Question 8. List any casualty (such as fire or theft) or gambling losses that occurred within one year prior to bankruptcy or that happened since you filed your case.
Question 9. List any payments you made related to bankruptcy services or debt counseling within one year prior to your filing date.
Question 10. Disclose any property transfers or security interests given in the two years preceding your bankruptcy. Also, list any property transferred within ten years of your bankruptcy to a self-settled trust (or similar instrument) that you are a beneficiary of. The trustee will use this information to see whether a fraudulent transfer has occurred.
Question 11. Disclose any financial accounts sold, transferred, or closed within one year of your bankruptcy.
Question 12. List all safe deposit boxes you had within one year of your bankruptcy.
Question 13. Disclose any creditor setoffs made in the 90 days preceding your bankruptcy.
Question 14. List all property you hold or control that is owned by another person.
Question 15. Disclose all addresses you lived at in the three years preceding your bankruptcy.
Question 16. If you currently live or lived in a community property state within the eight years preceding your bankruptcy, disclose the names of all former spouses who lived there with you.
Question 17. This question requires you to disclose information on events relating to notices, violations, and lawsuits relating to environmental laws and hazardous materials. Read each part of the question carefully to determine whether it applies to you.
Question 18. If you owned or were part of a business within the six years preceding your bankruptcy, you must disclose all pertinent information here.
Questions 19 through 25. You only have to complete questions 19 through 25 if the debtor is a business or if you were self-employed or involved in a business within the six years prior to the bankruptcy. These questions require you to disclose information about the books, financial affairs, inventories, owners, and officers of the business. Read each question carefully and disclose all pertinent information.
Signature. After completing the Statement of Financial Affairs, make sure to sign and date it in the appropriate spot depending on if you are an individual debtor or completing the form on behalf of a business debtor.