The Schedule B is one of the longer documents you must complete when filing for bankruptcy and is an important part of the Schedules of Assets and Liabilities. On the Schedule B, a debtor must list all of his personal property. Personal property is defined as including all property except for real property, such as houses, land, and timeshares. Real property is disclosed on the Schedule A. The Schedule B is constructed in the form a 35 categories of property. For purposes of brevity, this article will only touch on the most relevant categories, or categories that are confusing to many people.
Method of Disclosure
The Schedule B consists of five columns. The first column is entitled "Type of Property." In that column is listed the 35 pre-made categories of property, such as "Wearing apparel." You should not write anything in the first column. The second column is called "None." You must put an "X" in the None column if you do not own any property in that particular category.
The third column is called "Description and Location of Property." In this column, you must describe what the property is and where it is located (such as at your home address). The fourth column is entitled "Husband, Wife, Joint, or Community." You must write in this column H, W, J, or C to represent the legal status of the property. Only put H or W if the property is solely owned by your husband or wife. Only put J or C if the property is held jointly with another, J for joint tenants and C for community property. Finally, the fifth column requires a debtor to list the current value of his or her interest in the property.
Cash on Hand
The "Cash on Hand" category of personal property requires that a debtor list any cash in their possession at the time the bankruptcy petition is filed.
This category requires that you disclose any and all checking, savings, and other financial accounts. This includes certificates of deposit, wherever held.
You must list any security deposits that you have paid to landlords or utilities in this category.
Household Goods and Furnishings
This is the most used and expansive category of personal property. This includes everything from dishes and glasses, to your couch, bed, television, and computer.
Books, Pictures, Art, Collectibles and Antiques
This category of property, which may be confused with household goods, includes only books, works of art, collectibles, such as stamps, and antiques.
The wearing apparel category is fairly straightforward; you must disclose all of your clothing in this category.
Interests in Estates
Many individuals may not contemplate interests in estates as a category of property, however, it must be disclosed. This includes contingent and non-contingent interests in estates, death benefit plans, life insurance policies, and trusts.
To the shock of certain individuals, you must list all of your animals in this category, including any pets! Although they may feel like your family members, pets are personal property in the eyes of the law.
The last Schedule B category refers to personal property fo any kind not already listed. Thus, if any of your property does not fall into one of the other Schedule B categories, you must list it here.
Importance of Disclosure
As discussed above, this list of Schedule B categories is certainly not exhaustive, but merely illustrative of a few of the categories. However, when you fill out the Schedule B, you must be meticulous in disclosing all of your property. Failure to disclose your personal property can lead to the denial of your bankruptcy discharge and constitutes bankruptcy fraud, which is a federal crime.