Today we start a series on how to complete the various schedules and statements. So far, we’ve discussed the preliminaries, including
• Gathering the information needed to file bankruptcy
• The Means Test: how to qualify for Chapter 7
• Which state to file in
• Different types of debt, secured, priority and unsecured
• The credit counseling requirement
• Whether to make a skeleton or full filing
• Completing the matrix
• Completing the petition
The first schedule that must be completed is Schedule A, Real Property. You can find Schedule A here.
What is real property?
Real property, or real estate, is land and anything associated with land, such as houses, buildings, mobile homes, rental property, vacation homes and the like. The term “real property” comes from the fact that in feudal England, only the king could own the land; hence, the land was called royal property, or royal estate. Anything other than real property is called personal property, and is listed on Schedule B.
How to value real property
We have an earlier post on how to calculate equity, where we discuss how best to value real property.
Fractional or partial interests in real property
Real property is often owned jointly by two or more people. It’s common for spouses to jointly own their home. Sometimes children inherit land from their parents, and that land is jointly owned. It’s imperative that the debtor knows how the real property she claims is owned. For example, if the debtor owns land jointly with two other siblings, and each has a one-third (1/3) interest, the debtor lists the property and shows the value of her interest as 1/3 of the total value
If spouses are filing bankruptcy jointly, and they jointly own land, they would indicate that the property is owned by both of them and they would list the full value of the property (unless another party is also a joint owner).
Schedule A looks like this:
Do you own or have any legal or equitable interest in any residence, building, land, or similar property?
No. Go to Part 2.
Yes. Where is the property?
Street address, if available, or other description
City State ZIP Code
What is the property? Check all that apply.
Duplex or multi-unit building
Condominium or cooperative
Manufactured or mobile home
Current value of the entire property? Do not deduct secured claims or exemptions. Put the amount of any secured claims on Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property.
Current value of the portion you own?
Describe the nature of your ownership
interest (such as fee simple, tenancy by
the entireties, or a life estate), if known.
Who has an interest in the property? Check one.
Debtor 1 only
Debtor 2 only
Debtor 1 and Debtor 2 only
At least one of the debtors and another ______________________________
Check if this is community property (see instructions)
Other information you wish to add about this item, such as local
property identification number: ___________________
Location. Debtors must list all property, whether real or personal, wherever it is located. If a person owns property in Idaho, for example, and files in Utah, she must list the property in Idaho as well as any property located in Utah.
Current value. See our earlier post on how to value real property.
Value of the portion you own. This is the value of the fractional ownership interest that the debtor has in jointly owned property.
Who has an interest? This is to help the trustee understand how the property is owned. When the Schedules speak of Debtor 1 and Debtor 2, they mean spouses who are filing jointly. If one spouse files but the other one does not, the debtor would show any jointly owned property as owned by “At least one of the debtors and another” and list the non-filing spouse’s name, not as owned by Debtor 1 and Debtor 2.
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