When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you must complete a packet of forms and submit it to the bankruptcy court. Schedule I is one of the forms where you list your current income. You must provide accurate information or risk a possible dismissal of your case. To ensure your information is accurate, you should gather your pay stubs and documentation of other sources of income, such as business income, Social Security benefits, child or spousal support, and pensions. Anything that generates a monthly income must be included, no matter how small the amount.
Two Different Income Amounts?
Schedule I is supposed to reflect your actual monthly income, less payroll deductions, at the time you file for bankruptcy. On another bankruptcy form (Form 22A, 22B, or 22C, depending on which type of bankruptcy you file), you will have to provide what the bankruptcy law calls your "current" monthly income, for purposes of determining whether you pass the means test. Although it's referred to as "current," this second amount is supposed to reflect your average income over the six months before you file for bankruptcy. If you've had any changes in your income during that time (for example, because you lost your job, stopped receiving spousal support, or gotten a raise), the two forms may show different income figures. That's fine, as long as both are accurate.
Filling Out Bankruptcy Schedule I
You must include all of your income on Schedule I, whether it's hourly wages, government assistance, or a small income from an at-home business. If you are married, you must include the same information for your spouse, whether you file jointly or separately.
To learn more, see Completing Bankruptcy Schedule I.