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  1. Bankruptcy Glossary
  2. Statement of Financial Affairs

What is a Statement of Financial Affairs?

If a married couple is filing a joint bankruptcy petition they may file a single Statement of Financial Affairs and combine information for both spouses. If a married debtor is filing Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petitions they must provide information for both spouses whether or not a joint bankruptcy petition is filed (exception exist if the spouses are separated and a joint bankruptcy petition is not filed). A Statement of Financial Affairs provides business and personal information for all debtors who are engaged in business as a partner, family farmer, partner, or self-employed business professional.

The Statement of Financial Affairs also outlines the debtor's assets and liabilities and is used by the bankruptcy court to evaluate the debtor's bankruptcy case. Debtors filing personal bankruptcy are given a specified time period to submit their Statement of Financial Affairs to the bankruptcy court. This document is also used by creditors to review the information provided by the debtor about their secured debts (home mortgages, car loans) and unsecured debts (credit card debt, personal loans). Assets must also be listed in the Statement of Financial Affairs including but not limited to: home mortgages, other real estate holdings, cars, boats, motorcycles, machinery and other liquid investments. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer for more information about the requirements for listing assets and liabilities on the Statement of Financial Affairs.

The Statement of Financial Affairs may not be a fully comprehensive document but is used as a tool to identify creditors who the debtor is including in the bankruptcy filing. The creditors are allowed to review the Statement of Financial Affairs document and submit changes or modifications to the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court will review all submitted changes, the final listing of assets and liabilities and determine the correct method to distribute debt payments to the creditors. The type of bankruptcy case filed will determine the method of debt repayment or the choice to liquidate non-exempt assets.