How to Amend Bankruptcy Filings
To file for bankruptcy, you need to fill out many forms. Some of these forms ask for detailed information about your assets, whereas others request information about your debts. It is very easy to make a mistake and leave information off, especially if you are trying to represent yourself. So how do you amend your forms? Fortunately, the process is not difficult.
Fill out the Correct Form
To amend your petition, you will need to get another copy of the “Voluntary Petition for Individuals,” which you should have filled out when you filed for bankruptcy. There is a box in the upper right-hand corner which you can check to show that this is an amended petition.
If you need to amend a schedule, then you should fill out the schedule again and check the same box in the upper right-hand corner to indicate that you are making an amended filing.
Before submitting your completed forms, go over all of the information again. Ideally, you will only make one amended filing (although you might need to make more if circumstances change). Make a copy for your records once you think everything is good to go.
Analyze What Information You Left Off
Sometimes, you need to file an amended form because you entered inaccurate information. In other situations, you simply forgot to list assets or debts.
Technically, you can make an amendment at any time in the bankruptcy process. However, you should carefully analyze what you left off. For example, you might have forgotten to list a bank account with $50,000 in it and only amended your petition after the Meeting of Creditors. Forgetting to include such a large asset in your original filing looks suspicious.
Remember, you filed your original bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury stating that you believed the information to be true and correct. Of course, anyone can make a minor mistake. But if you forget to list a sizeable asset, then it looks like you might have intentionally tried to hide it. After all, who forgets that they own a vacation property or a bank account with $50,000 in it?
If you left off a large asset like these, you should certainly meet with an attorney. Not many consumers are charged with bankruptcy fraud, principally because their mistakes are minor or harmless. However, those convicted can face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Let a bankruptcy attorney analyze your situation—and help you with the remainder of your bankruptcy.
File Your Amended Form
Check ahead of time whether you can file for free or whether there is a fee. If you are adding a new creditor, then you might have to pay a small fee.
Don’t forget to serve a copy of the papers on the trustee and any creditors who are affected. The bankruptcy court should have information about proper service of process if you have never served papers before.
Consult with a South Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer
With offices around Southern Florida, Nowack & Olson has built a reputation as a premier bankruptcy law firm in the region. We have helped countless consumers navigate the often-confusing bankruptcy process, obtaining relief so that they can start afresh. To schedule a free consultation, please call 866-907-2970.