Bankruptcy Schedule H -- Codebtors
When you file for bankruptcy, if you have codebtors or loan cosigners that are liable for any of your debts, you must list them on Schedule H.
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ALERT: As part of a multi-year court project to modernize the Official Bankruptcy Forms and make them more consumer-friendly, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules has recently revised most of the consumer bankruptcy forms (several had already been revised in 2013 and 2014). The changes became effective on December 1, 2015. The revisions involved reformatting, renaming, and renumbering the forms, and in a few instances, combining two forms into one. You can find the new forms here: www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms. We are in the process of revising all of our articles to comport with the new forms. Check back soon.
If you file for bankruptcy relief, one of the forms you must complete in your bankruptcy packet is called Schedule H – Codebtors. If you have codebtors that are liable for any of your debts, you must list them on Schedule H. Read on to learn more about what a codebtor is and how to complete Schedule H.
For more information on other types of bankruptcy forms, see our topic area on Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.
What Is Schedule H?
Schedule H is the bankruptcy form that provides the court with information about other people or entities that are also liable for your debts. If you have codebtors that are on the hook for any of your debt obligations, you must list them on Schedule H.
Codebtors You Must List on Schedule H
A codebtor is a person or entity that is also liable for one or more of your debts. The following are some of the most common types of codebtors you might have to list on Schedule H:
- joint credit card holders
- loan cosigners
- people who personally guaranteed your debts
- former spouses (or current nonfiling spouse) you have joint debts with
- codefendants in a lawsuit, and
- former spouses you lived in a community property state with (certain debts you incur while married in a community property state may be considered community debts, making both spouses equally liable regardless of who incurred the debt).
How to Complete Schedule H
On Schedule H, you must disclose the names and addresses of all your codebtors and list which of your debts they are liable for. If you have no codebtors, you can simply check the box that states that you have none.
In order to fill out Schedule H accurately, you will need to provide the name and address of:
- all of your codebtors
- the creditor for the debt each codebtor is liable for
- your nonfiling spouse if you are married and have joint debts (be sure to include all names your spouse used during the eight years prior to your bankruptcy), and
- your spouse or former spouse who lived with you in a community property state or Puerto Rico within the last eight years.
But keep in mind that if you are married and filing a joint bankruptcy with your spouse, you don’t need to list your spouse on Schedule H.
For more information on whether it makes sense to file for bankruptcy individually or jointly with your spouse, see Bankruptcy for Married Couples: Filing Options.
What Happens to Your Codebtors in Bankruptcy?
If you file for bankruptcy and receive a discharge, your creditors can still go after your codebtors to collect their debts. Your discharge doesn’t wipe out your codebtor’s obligation to pay back the debt. But you may be able to protect your codebtors by paying off your joint debts after bankruptcy or through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.
To learn more about how your codebtors are treated in bankruptcy, see What Happens to My Cosigner in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? and What Happens to My Cosigner in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Warning: This article provides general information about Schedule D. Before you complete this or any other bankruptcy form, you must understand bankruptcy law in its entirety and may need to know local customs in your bankruptcy court. Consult with a local bankruptcy attorney or read a comprehensive self-help book like Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.