Determining Reasonably Anticipated Income Changes After Filing For Bankruptcy

Schedule I of the required bankruptcy forms asks you to describe changes in your income after you file; learn what to include in your answer here.

When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you have to complete a packet of forms that describe your property, debts, expenses, income, and other financial matters. Schedule I is the form that asks for information about your income at the time you file for bankruptcy. This form also asks about reasonably anticipated changes in your income that might take place within the year after you file.

Filling Out Bankruptcy Schedule I

To complete Schedule I, you'll need to provide information on your gross income from all sources, as well as deductions from your paycheck. You'll also have to provide income information for your spouse, even if you are filing separately for bankruptcy. For help completing the form, see Determining Current Income for Bankruptcy Schedule I.

Line 13 - Anticipated Changes in Income

After putting the correct numbers in the correct boxes (and doing some basic math), you come to Line 13, which is like the essay question at the end of the test. It reads, "Do you expct an increase or decrease within the year after you file this form?" and then if you check "yes," asks you to explain.

To answer this question honestly, you should think about all of your sources of income and potential income. If you have a job, consider these questions:

  • Does you company anticipate layoffs -- and if so, might your position be eliminated?
  • Are your pay or hours likely to be cut in the next year?
  • Is your company phasing out overtime or reducing hours to save money?
  • Have you had a disabling accident that you expect will keep you out of work for a significant amount of time?
  • Are you expecting a raise?
  • Are you expecting a promotion?
  • Do you get an annual  bonus?

You should include events that are likely, even if they aren't certain. You can use the space on the form to explain and attach a separate sheet if necessary. For example, if your company has recently cut employee hours, and has announced that further cuts will be necessary in a month unless business picks up, you should include that on your form.

You should also include other types of income that might change. For example, if you receive spousal support that's scheduled to end in six months, you should note that fact  on Schedule I. If your unemployment benefits will run out in two months, you should include that information as well. And, if you expect an increase in income (for example, because you expect to start receiving a pension or you have finally rented out income property you own that has been sitting vacant), you must say so.

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