Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Form

By: Damian Sofsian

A chapter 7-bankruptcy case starts with the debtor filing a two-page petition with the bankruptcy court. Statement of financial affairs with schedules of assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, unexpired leases and contracts must be attached with the petition. There are several forms that must be attached with petition papers. One has to follow the local and federal bankruptcy court rules in completing the forms. These forms must be submitted within 15 days.

The official forms are not available from the court. They may be purchased at legal stationery stores or downloaded from http://www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html.

Preparing these complex forms requires an understanding of both bankruptcy law and local state law. The forms have to be typed and an assigned number of copies must be included with the filing. Today, there are many software solutions to prepare these forms. A bankruptcy software program uses modern database technology and guides the user through a straightforward entry program to easily create, print, edit and reprint bankruptcy forms.

A list of all creditors and information of their claims; the information about the debtor's income; a list of all of the debtor's property and monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc. are required to complete the official bankruptcy forms that makes up the petition. In cases of married individuals he/she must gather above information for their spouse even if they are filing a joint petition, separate individual petitions or single petition. Also, the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse is required to evaluate the household's financial position.

The forms also ask information about "exempt" property. The exempt property is the property that the law allows the debtor to keep through the bankruptcy process. Most of the time courts let the debtor keep some equity in home, clothing, household furnishings, unspent Social Security payments and other necessities such as a car and tools of trade.

Bankruptcy
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