The bankruptcy Schedule I gives the bankruptcy court a snapshot of your average current monthly income. Officially, the form is called "Schedule I - Current Income of Individual Debtor(s)." Completing the Schedule I can be a bit tricky in that it requires a bit of math and somewhat resembles a tax form.
The top of the Schedule I requires that you give some basic information about yourself, such as your marital status, the number of children and their ages. Never disclose the first names of your children, as that information is strongly protected by privacy laws. You must also state your job title, the name of your employer, and how long you have employed in that position. If you are filing jointly with a spouse, you must also provide the employment information for your spouse.
In the first row, you must list your monthly gross wages, commissions, and salary. For example, if you make $4000 a month, list that amount here. Remember that this is the gross amount pre-tax. The second row requires you to list your average monthly overtime. Add the first two columns and enter the total next to "Subtotal" in row 3.
Row four and its subsections allow you to subtract payroll deductions from your monthly gross income. Deduct payroll taxes and social security, insurance, union dues, and any other deductions in sub rows (a), (b), (c), and (d), respectively. Add these deductions and put that number in row five. Subtract row five from row three to get your "Total Net Monthly Take Home Pay" and enter that amount on row six.
Miscellaneous Other Income
The next few rows require you to disclose various other types of income. On row seven, enter any regular income from the operation of a business, farm, or profession. If you have income in this category you will also have to attach a detailed statement. This may include a profit and loss statement and an accounting of the business's average monthly income. Row eight is income generated from real property, such as if you rent out a house. Row nine is for interest and dividends. This includes interest earned from a bank account and dividends paid on stock you own. On line ten, include any alimony or child support payments that you receive.
Line eleven is for social security income or other governmental assistance, such as unemployment income. Line twelve is for retirement or pension income. Finally, line thirteen is for any other income that you receive during a month. Add up lines seven through thirteen and enter that amount on line fourteen. Then, add the amount on lines six and fourteen to get your "Average Monthly Income." Enter that amount on line fifteen.
If you are filing bankruptcy with your spouse, and your spouse works, you must also enter this information for him or her. In that case, add the amount on lines fifteen for each spouse and enter that amount on line sixteen to get your "Combined Average Monthly Income."
Row seventeen is the last question on the Schedule I and asks whether you expect any increase or decrease in income within one year of filing the bankruptcy case. This may occur, for example, if you believe you will lose your job or will get a bonus.
The key to completing the Schedule I is to take one step at a time in calculating each line. The easiest way to make a mistake with this bankruptcy form is to fill it out too quickly. Also, use common sense when filling out the form. If the average monthly income figure seems too low or high, as you should know how much you take in each month, take a second look at your math.