One of the most important parts of any bankruptcy is the schedules you have to include when declaring. Unlike other factors, schedules are present in both chapter 7s and 13s, so it’s important you understand how these forms affect your bankruptcy.
What Are Bankruptcy Schedules?
The schedules represent vital information about you that the courts need in order to process your bankruptcy. These forms will include information like how much you make, how much you owe, property you own, expenses you have, etc. As you can probably understand, then, these forms are extremely important and you need to take care with filing them. Should you make the mistake of trying to withhold any important information on these forms, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble.
Can I Change Bankruptcy Schedules Once They’re Filed?
Given the permanency of bankruptcy and the importance of these schedules, it’s understandable that you might not think you can change these documents once they’re filed. However, by their very nature, these documents include information that is fluid.
For example, what should happen if the car you listed in your schedules was destroyed? Obviously, that will affect your finances and, in the case of a chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will impact your plan. It may be that you’d seek to reduce the amount owed to unsecured creditors, so you’d have more cash to pay for the new car you need.
There are a number of reasons you may want to amend your schedules, besides the above. Some people simply realize that they made mistakes on their schedules or flat out left information off the forms. However, it’s not something you can just decide to do. You need court approval and that means sometimes you won’t get to make the changes you want.
Simply put, the answer is that, “yes”, you can change your schedules after they have been filed; you just need to follow a specific procedure.
Amending Your Bankruptcy Schedules
How you actually go about amending these schedules will be different for everyone based on where they live. Every court district uses its own forms, which means the procedures that apply will vary too. Fortunately, they have enough in common that we can generalize them here.
First, figure out which schedules you need to amend. You don’t have to re-file all your schedules over again and doing so will just cause problems when they’re being processed. The forms you need should all be listed on the website of your local bankruptcy court or you can get them by visiting the actual courthouse. Aside from the blank forms, you will probably need an amendment cover sheet form. If you intend on adding additional creditors to your schedule, you may also need an extra notice form.
These documents should include the instructions you need to follow. For the most part, though, you’ll just indicate what was wrong with the initial schedules and then fill out these new ones correctly.
You may have to fill out the entire document or only the parts that have changed. Again, this will differ by district.
Once this is done, file your forms with your local court.
Amending schedules can be a stressful process. For one thing, you want to be careful about not making mistakes twice. Also, if you need to amend your schedules to free up cash—like in the example above—it’s all the more important you don’t make any errors.
While having a court clerk assist can be helpful, you’ll get one-on-one attention if you go with an attorney in Northern Virginia. They can also help you appreciate whether or not amending your schedules is even necessary in the first place.
Call (703) 549-5000 today or complete our confidential contact form for a free consultation from Tyler, Bartl & Ramsdell, P.L.C. If you do need your bankruptcy schedules amended, it’s best to do so with professional guidance.