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Questions about Schedule I and J

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  • Questions about Schedule I and J


    I had some questions about schedule I and J.

    When you're talking about the expenses being about the same amount as your income in order to do a Chapter 7, are the trustees looking at the income on your Schedule I in comparison to your Schedule J? Or are they using the income on the means test? I'm a little confused on this. The income on my means test is going to be more than what I put down on my Schedule I for the monthly income... as August and September are my slowest months income wise and I'm no longer employed through an employer.

    Also for the self employment tax that I estimate I will have to pay in for 2017 (both state and federal). I would list this on the expense statement I will prepare for the Schedule I right?

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    The Means Test is a test to determine if you fit the criteria to be in a Chapter 13. The sole purpose of the Means Test is to mimic the really complex formula that Congress came up with, in 2005, to push more people into Chapter 13s.

    The Chapter 7 Panel Trustee will look at the Means Test (as will the United States Trustee) to make the first determination. Then they'll look to Schedule I (Income) and Schedule J (Expenses). There are almost always differences between the Means Test and Schedules I/J.

    If your taxes are not "withheld" from income, they do not go on Schedule I, but probably go as miscellaneous (with a description) on Schedule J. It does not read as though you have a guidebook; do you have a guidebook?
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3
      Hi JB,

      I've got the Nolo Chapter 7 book, but that is the only one.


      • #4
        If you are having trouble with the forms, just about all of the forms have an instruction sheet. You can find the instruction sheet for Schedule I here.

        Some things are subtle, but Schedule I includes deductions from income that are "payroll" deductions and that should be read literally. My thoughts are that self-employment taxes are not a regularly deduction from payroll, so I would put it as an expense on Schedule J. There is a line on Schedule J, line 16, that is specifically for Taxes not included on Schedule J (payroll deductions).
        Last edited by justbroke; 09-20-2017, 09:04 PM. Reason: missing word
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


        • #5
          Thanks so much!


          • #6
            One other quick question about these forms.
            I've got to get these in tomorrow. I'm not sure what I want to do about my house. I'm officially two months behind on the payments. I'm still torn between trying to catch this up or just letting it go into foreclosure. I'm not sure if I should put a note on schedule J that I might let the house go into foreclosure if I'm not sure yet?
            Last edited by bankrupt3000; 09-25-2017, 12:30 AM.


            • #7
              I have always put a note at the bottom of Schedule I in the area which asks if things may change (Question 13. Do you expect an increase or decrease within the year after you file this form?)

              As for the approach on the home, that's too much nuanced and gets into legal questions on strategy. My strategy was to put "retain and pay" on my Statement of Intentions despite my district being in the 11th Circuit where you "must" redeem, reaffirm or surrender. I did not receive any backlash from my creditor. In fact, I pushed my creditor to enter into a modification without the need for reaffirmation. You can always keep everything the way it is, and then attempt to get a modification with the creditor (putting the payments at the end of the term, or re-amortizing the loan). You would not put any "note" about this -- the house -- anywhere on your Schedule I or J. If you start doing that, the Trustee may refer you to the United States Trustee (UST) because you may then have enough to fund a Chapter 13.

              This is why many people pay for an attorney to navigate these Trustee-infested waters. I know that even I couldn't afford the attorney, but missing a couple of house payments to pay the attorney - or even missing some creditor payments - could have paid the attorney. My issue was that I ran out of time and didn't have the 2 months to wait to save up the necessary funds.

              It reads to me as though you need the mortgage payment in order to show negative or less than $205 (or whatever the number is) for your disposable monthly income (DMI). This requires you to really think about your strategy. The best is to "retain and pay" for the mortgage (not reaffirming and not surrendering). That way it discharges. Then you can deal with the creditor before or after the discharge is entered with respect to a modification. I personally pushed for a modification which did not include any trial period.

              Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
              Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
              Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

              I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


              • #8
                Thanks again


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