Statement of Financial Affairs

By Daisy Rogozinsky
/
June 20, 2022

When you file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to fill out a statement of financial affairs. In this article, we’ll explain what a statement of financial affairs is, what it includes, and who is allowed to see it. 

Key Takeaways

  • A statement of financial affairs is a form a bankrupt debtor must fill out when filing for bankruptcy to give the bankruptcy court a complete picture of their financial situation
  • Statements of financial affairs are used for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies 
  • There are versions of the statement of financial affairs form for individuals and non-individuals
  • The statement of financial affairs form contains information about the debtor’s assets, liabilities, income, and more
  • The statement of financial affairs form is distributed to the bankruptcy trustee, the creditors, and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy

What Is a Statement of Financial Affairs?

The statement of financial affairs form, also called a SOFA, is one of the forms a bankrupt debtor is required to fill out as part of their bankruptcy filing. These forms are intended to give the bankruptcy court a picture of the debtor’s financial situation and why they are filing for bankruptcy. 

Statement of financial affairs forms are used for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are two versions of it, one for individuals and one for non-individuals, usually companies. 

Sections of the Statement of Financial Affairs Form

The statement of financial affairs form covers a lot of territory, including the following information:

  • Marital status
  • Where you’ve lived in the past
  • Income sources
  • Payments made before filing for bankruptcy
  • Legal actions, repossessions, and foreclosures you were involved with in the past three years
  • Gifts and contributions you’ve made
  • Losses from theft, fire, disasters, or gambling
  • Whether you paid somebody to help you fill out your bankruptcy paperwork
  • Whether you transferred money or property 
  • Bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, or other financial instruments you own
  • Property you hold or control for others
  • Involvement with hazards or environmental law
  • Details about your business or connections to other businesses 

Parties to Whom the Statement of Financial Affairs is Distributed

Because the statement of financial affairs form is filled with sensitive personal information, you may wonder who is allowed to access it. The following parties receive a copy of the debtor’s statement of financial affairs.

  • The bankruptcy trustee
  • The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy
  • The creditors

Notes on the Statement of Financial Affairs

The statement of financial affairs is thorough, but it is rather straightforward and should not be too difficult to fill out. That being said, it is still very detailed and requires careful attention during preparation so that you are certain that you don’t make any mistakes. This is especially important because there are fines and criminal penalties for lying on the statement of financial affairs form. For this reason, you should be certain to only tell the truth. 

If you need some help, you may work with a petition preparer or, even better, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, who will be able to offer assistance in the process of filing for bankruptcy and make sure you fill out your forms correctly so you don’t have issues down the line.

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