Before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Aloha State, you will need to make sure that you have filled out all the forms required by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii. Although the Bankruptcy Court that will handle your case is federal, Hawaii state law still impacts many parts of the bankruptcy process. For example, if you have lived in Hawaii for two years or more, state law allows you to choose whether to take advantage of federal exemptions or state exemptions. Filing for Chapter 7 is a relatively straightforward process, which you will likely be able to complete without hiring an attorney. However, it is important to take care to follow directions carefully as you fill out all necessary Hawaii bankruptcy forms. Incomplete or inaccurate forms may slow down your filing process or cause your request for relief from the Bankruptcy Court to be rejected outright. You can access these forms on the website for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii.
Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy
The first Hawaii bankruptcy form that you will need to complete is a Voluntary Petition for bankruptcy. This form serves as a cover sheet for the rest of your bankruptcy petition. It informs the Court about the Chapter (or type) of bankruptcy you are filing, whether you have filed bankruptcy before, who you are and where you live. Your bankruptcy case is classified as “voluntary” because you chose to file for bankruptcy on your own instead of being forced into Bankruptcy Court at the insistence of a certain number of your creditors. You will tell the Court more about your income, expenses and debts in additional forms, commonly referred to as schedules.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule A/B: Property
Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms consist primarily of documents called “schedules.” Each schedule is lettered and serves a unique purpose. Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule A/B contains information about your property. When filling out Schedule A/B, you will need to list the property you own and answer some basic questions about your possessions. It’s important to be accurate when describing what you own and how much your property is worth. Thankfully, this form does not require you to go into extreme detail about your stuff. For example, you will need to confirm that you own clothing, but you will not need to describe that you own 12 pairs of socks with pineapples and hibiscus flowers all over them.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule C: Exemptions
Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule C addresses the important subject of exemptions. When you fill out this form, you will need to indicate whether you are going to take advantage of federal or state bankruptcy exemptions. You cannot “mix and match” which exemptions you take, but if you choose to rely on state exemptions, you may claim certain federal nonbankruptcy exemptions if they apply to you. This may seem confusing, but it is pretty straightforward as long as you follow the directions on the form. Any property you own that is exempt will be protected from your creditors. Most low-income Hawaii bankruptcy filers will be able to keep most or all of their property regardless of which exemption option they choose.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured by Property
Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule D focuses on secured debt. Unsecured debt does not give creditors legal rights to your property but secured debt does. Most of the time, secured debt allows creditors to take back your property if you fail to make required payments on your loans, like a car loan. Sometimes, a creditor can force you to sell any property you listed as collateral in your loan agreement. Home loans, car loans and some watercraft loans are secured. Credit card debt, medical bills and personal loans are treated as unsecured debt. In this Hawaii bankruptcy form, you will describe your secured debts. You will need to refer to this form later on when the Court asks if you are going to give up your property tied to secured debt.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Hold Unsecured Claims
Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule E/F is concerned with unsecured debt. In Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule E/F, you will list both the priority and non-priority claims creditors have against you. The Court gives specific kinds of unsecured debts priority over others. Priority claims include overdue family support payments, like child support and spousal support. Certain debts owed to the government, like taxes and certain governmental fines are also considered priority debt. Nonpriority debts, including personal loans, credit card bills and medical debt, are treated as secondary to priority debts by the Court. When you file for Hawaii bankruptcy, the Court takes care of prioritizing payments to your creditors (if any) according to the kind of debts they are owed.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
In Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule G, you will list any ongoing contracts or leases that may be impacted by your bankruptcy case. You will need to explain whether you are still responsible for any executory contracts and leases that have not yet expired. Generally, an executory contract is an agreement in which you agree to pay for an ongoing service or membership. For example, cellphone contracts, gym memberships and certain business arrangements (like supply agreements) are considered executory contracts. Because these contracts are ongoing, you still have to pay according to their terms even though you have filed for bankruptcy, if you want to continue the service. Similarly, if you have signed a lease on a car or truck, apartment or house, watercraft or rental equipment and the term of the lease has not yet expired, that information must be disclosed in this Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy form.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule H: Codebtors
It’s not unusual for business partners, married couples and even parents and their adult children to apply for loans and/or credit together. When two or more people can independently be held responsible for the same debt, they are considered codebtors. In Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule H, you will need to list certain personal information for each codebtor who shares responsibility for any of your debts. Unless you are filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse and your spouse is your only codebtor, creditors can still hold your codebtors responsible for any jointly held debt even after your bankruptcy process is complete. The Court will send your codebtors official notice that you have filed for Hawaii bankruptcy, but it’s still a good idea to inform your codebtors of your situation as soon as you can, in case creditors choose to get more aggressive with them now that they can no longer come after you.
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Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule I: Income
In Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule I, you will give the Court information about your income. If you work, you will need to list your employer’s name, your employer’s address, how long you have been working for your current employer and details about your occupation. Also, you will use this Hawaii bankruptcy form to list any other sources of income you take in regularly. While you don’t need to list one-time gifts, you do need to admit if you receive a pension, Social Security benefits, alimony and/or child support, military benefits, disability benefits, business income, or any other source of regular support. This form allows you to take certain deductions off your stated income as well. Just like when you file your taxes, admitting to certain financial obligations (like buying necessary insurance) will reduce your eligible income total. Deductions help to clarify why you may have a job and/or other regular sources of income but still can’t afford to pay your debts over time.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Schedule J: Expenses
You will list all of your expenses in Hawaii bankruptcy Schedule J. Just like the financial obligations that you can deduct in Schedule I, expenses help the Court to understand why your monthly income can’t be used to pay back your creditors. No matter what your expenses are, it’s important to list them honestly. For example, you may be unsure if the Court will understand that you regularly spend money traveling to one of the other islands to visit a sick parent. However, the Court will judge you more harshly for being dishonest about your expenses than it will judge the expenses themselves. This Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy form, just like all the others, must be filled out accurately and completely if you want to qualify for a bankruptcy discharge.
Declaration About Schedules
In the Declaration about Schedules, you will be asked to swear that you were truthful and forthcoming when filling out your Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. Swearing an oath on this form is the same as being asked to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” like a witness would be in Court. Failure to tell the truth and/or intentionally leaving information off your forms can lead to negative legal consequences. You could potentially be accused of bankruptcy fraud or contempt. In addition to swearing that your forms are correct, you will be asked if you have benefitted from the assistance of a petition preparer when your bankruptcy forms were being completed. Using help from Upsolve does not need to be noted on this declaration because Upsolve is a free service and the Court is only concerned with paid assistance.
Summary of Assets and Liabilities
Once your schedules are complete, you will need to transfer a number of the totals listed in these schedules to your Summary of Assets and Liabilities form. The Summary of Assets and Liabilities form helps the Court to get a broad view of your finances after it has evaluated each aspect of your situation as noted in your schedules. Double-check that you have not made any mistakes when transferring this information. Your Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms all need to be accurate and completely filled out or you will risk a delay and even a denial of your discharge order.
Statement of Intention for Filing Hawaii Chapter 7
Hawaii bankruptcy forms are usually straightforward. However, your Statement of Intention for Filing Hawaii Chapter 7 form can be tricky to deal with. This form will ask you to decide whether you will give up any property tied to unexpired leases, secured debt and executory contracts listed in your petition. Deciding whether to return property or keep paying it off can be a tough process, especially if you are unsure of whether you can reliably make your payments moving forward. It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of bankruptcy is to put you back on the path to financial wellbeing. If holding on to your property is going to keep you financially burdened in ways that prevent you from achieving that goal, you need to think twice before making that decision.
Statement of Financial Affairs
When filling out your Statement of Financial Affairs for Hawaii bankruptcy, you will need to tell the Court a story about how your finances have evolved over the past few years. This form will ask you about your past income and expenses, whether you have had to pay judgments related to a lawsuit, whether you have received any government assistance, had any property repossessed, had any income garnished, had any property foreclosed upon, etc. To be approved for Hawaii bankruptcy under Chapter 7, the Court will need to understand why you shouldn’t be required to complete a 3-5 year Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. The Statement of Financial Affairs will help you make your case.
Chapter 7 Statement of Your Monthly Income: 122A-1
To qualify for bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7, you must pass the bankruptcy Means Test in Hawaii for Chapter 7. This Means Test examines whether your household’s size, income and expenses meet eligibility limits set by the Court. In your bankruptcy form 122A-1, you will need to disclose your income to show that you qualify you for a Chapter 7 discharge order. Of all the Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms you must fill out, this one is among the most important. This form helps you say to the Court, “I am eligible to have my debts erased now, not 3-5 years from now after completing a Chapter 13 repayment plan.”
Statement About Your Social Security Numbers: Form 121
Your Social Security number is a unique asset. The government identifies you using this number as you are the only living person who has been given your unique nine-number combination. This unique number is so important that the Court uses a separate Hawaii bankruptcy form just to confirm that your Social Security number is reported completely and correctly. Be careful when filling out bankruptcy form 121 because a mistake in reporting your Social Security number could slow down your Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Note that if your spouse is filing bankruptcy with you, your spouse’s Social Security number will need to be reported here too.
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The term “creditor matrix” is a fancy way of describing a list of all of the people and businesses you owe money to. Before you can fill your creditor matrix out, you will need to gather the names and addresses of every single one of your creditors. It’s important to fill this Hawaii bankruptcy form out as correctly and completely as possible because the Court will use this information to notify your creditors that you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you rent your home or apartment but want to get out early, remember to include your landlord, as your rental agreement is considered an unexpired lease and rejecting the lease makes your landlord a creditor.
Verification of Creditor Matrix Hawaii
The verification of creditor matrix Hawaii form is another form that prompts you to confirm that your petition contains “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” This document essentially restates that your creditor matrix is complete and correct to the best of your knowledge. As frustrating as it can be to say over and over, “Yes, I’m telling the truth!” it is important to take this form seriously. If the Hawaii bankruptcy Court learns that you have not made every effort to provide a complete list of your creditors and their contact information, you could find yourself in real trouble and may not be able to discharge the balance owed to the creditor you left out.
Credit Counseling Course Certificate for Chapter 7 in Hawaii
You will receive a credit counseling course certificate once you have taken a credit counseling course approved specifically for Hawaii bankruptcy filers. Then, you will file this certificate with the rest of your Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. Credit counseling courses approved by the U.S Department of Justice are the only classes you should register for, as unapproved courses will not help you meet your bankruptcy requirements. In addition to any in-person courses listed on the DOJ’s website that are offered in Hawaii, you are able to take an online course from companies across the U.S. as long as they are approved for use in Hawaii bankruptcy cases.
Hawaii Bankruptcy Fee Waiver
The fee to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Hawaii is $335. Understandably, many applicants can’t afford to pay this fee because they are already struggling financially. Thankfully, applicants may file a Hawaii bankruptcy fee waiver request to potentially eliminate the need to pay this fee. This form allows you to ask the Court to waive your fee requirement. That way, you can file your Hawaii bankruptcy case for free. If you live at 150 percent below the poverty line and don’t have enough to make payments each month after you have taken care of your household expenses, you will likely qualify for this waiver. The Court will send a notice of whether your fee waiver request has been approved after this Hawaii bankruptcy form has been processed.
Hawaii Specific Bankruptcy Forms
You can access all the Hawaii Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms needed to file your case in the filing packet available on the Court's website. Also, the court has created certain local forms that may be needed at a later stage of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Hawaii. All local forms can be downloaded as a fillable PDF for free.
District of Hawaii Bankruptcy Requirements
Special Forms - Cover Sheet for Amendments: Used when updating (amending) any of your Hawaii bankruptcy forms to provide the Court with a quick overview of the changes you have made. You can also use this form to confirm that you sent a notice to your creditors about the amendment.