Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
A Guide to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
If you’re considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re probably interested in knowing what kind of paperwork you’ll be required to fill out as your case progresses. While your bankruptcy lawyer can help you stay current on all aspects of your case, it doesn’t hurt to get an idea of what to expect ahead of time.
Here’s a brief look at some of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms you’ll be expected to fill out.
- Credit Counseling Briefing Certificate: You have to complete the credit counseling requirement before filing your Chapter 7 case, and you’ll receive a certificate when you do. In most cases, this is one Chapter 7 form your bankruptcy lawyer can file with the initial bankruptcy petition. That brings us to the next requirement.
- Bankruptcy Petition: This is the official legal document in which you request the protection of Chapter 7 bankruptcy from the court. Again, with help from your attorney, you should be able to complete this form with few complications.
- Schedules: Within 15 days of filing your original bankruptcy petition, you and your lawyer will be responsible for submitting several “schedules” to the court. These are documents detailing various financial aspects of your life, including:
- Your personal property and assets (such as cash, money in bank accounts, stocks, jewelry, money owed to you by others, crops, and more);
- Your real property (real estate) and its current value;
- Your creditors and how much you owe them;
- Any current contracts or valid leases, whether you are the lessor or lessee;
- The names and addresses of any co-debtors on accounts, along with names and addresses of creditors on those accounts;
- Employment information;
- Documentation of all income;
- Documentation of monthly expenses;
- List of payments made to creditors in the last 90 days;
- List of payments made to “insider” creditors (i.e. family and friends) in the last year; and more.
- Debtor Education Certificate: In order to get your Chapter 7 discharge, you’ll need to complete a debtor education course. Once you do, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which you’ll have to sign and file with the court. Because the course offers useful tips on budgeting, managing money and more, it may be in your best interest to complete the course sooner rather than later.
- Statement of Intention: This is the Chapter 7 form that details how you intend to handle your secured debts (including car loan, mortgage, etc.). You can choose to reaffirm your debt, which means agreeing to continue making payments; redeem your property, which requires you to pay your creditor the property’s fair market value; or release your property back to your creditor. Note that you have to file a copy with the court and have a copy served on your trustee and each of your creditors.
- Statement of Advisement: Within 45 days of filing your petition, you need to file a statement that includes a certificate from your lawyer verifying that you were notified of your choices under U.S. Bankruptcy law. This statement must also include evidence of payment from your employer within 60 days of your filing, an itemized statement of your monthly income and a list of expected increases/decreases in your expenses and income for the next 12 months.
Your lawyer can help you determine what exactly your case calls for, but you’ll likely need detailed documentation of most of your financial transactions.
A Local Attorney Can Help You Successfully Complete all Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
Working with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer throughout your case can help you ensure that you’ve completed and filed the proper forms in a timely manner. To get in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer practicing near you, just fill out our free online case evaluation form.
The above summary is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on bankruptcy laws, speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer in your state.