When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must fill out a packet of forms. These consist of a voluntary petition, several other forms called “schedules,” and some additional forms. Often the whole packet is referred to as the “bankruptcy petition.”
These forms are issued by the federal government and are referred to as the “official” bankruptcy forms.
Where to Get the Official Forms
You can find copies of the official bankruptcy forms on the United States courts’ website at www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms. From the website, you can print out blank copies of the forms. Starting in 2015, the consumer bankruptcy forms began undergoing revisions to make them more consumer-friendly. As of December 1, 2017, all of the revised forms have been released, including a new Chapter 13 Plan (Form 113). (Keep in mind that newer versions are released periodically.)
Local Forms and Requirements
In addition to the official forms that every bankruptcy court uses, your local bankruptcy court might require you to file additional forms that it has developed. Your local bankruptcy court might also have special requirements or rules for filing your petition. You can also get these forms and requirements from the bankruptcy court clerk or a local bankruptcy attorney. You might also find local forms and requirements on the particular bankruptcy court’s website.
Filing the Forms
If an attorney represents you in your bankruptcy case, the attorney will prepare these forms (most likely using software) for your review and signature and then file them electronically with the court. If you are representing yourself, you must file the bankruptcy forms in person at the bankruptcy court. There is one exception to this procedure: Several courts have a pilot project which allows debtors without attorneys to file their forms electronically. More courts may be adding this feature in the future. Check with your local court as to how many copies you’ll need to file (usually it’s an original and one copy), the order the forms should be in, and other requirements (such as staples, hole punching, etc.)
Filing in the Right Bankruptcy Court
There are federal bankruptcy courts all over the country. The courts are divided into judicial districts. Every state has at least one judicial district; most have more. You can file in either:
• the district where you have been living for the greater part of the 180-day period before you file, or
• the district where you are domiciled—that is, where you maintain your home, even if you have been living elsewhere temporarily (such as on a military base).
You might have additional filing options if you own a business or have substantial assets somewhere other than where you live. In both situations, you’ll want to consult with a local bankruptcy attorney.
Your local bankruptcy court may require you to file a few additional forms. We don’t provide a list of those here, since they vary widely. And many local courts don’t require any forms other than the official bankruptcy forms. To learn where to find local forms, see How to Get and File the Bankruptcy Forms.
Forms You Need to File in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Here’s a list of the forms most people need when they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of these, however, may not apply to your case. For example, if you are not requested a filing fee waiver, you won’t need to fill out Form B 3BA Application for Waiver of Chapter 7 Filing Fee.
• B 101 Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
• B 101A Initial Statement About an Eviction Judgment Against You (only if you have eviction judgment against you)
• B 101B Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgment Against You (only if you have eviction judgment against you)
• B 103A Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments
• B 103B Application to Have Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived
• B 106 Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information
• B 106A/B Schedule A/B: Property
• B 106C Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
• B 106D Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured by Property
• B 106E/F Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
• B 106G Schedule G:Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
• B 106H Schedule H: Your Codebtors
• B 106I Schedule I: Your Income
• B 106J Schedule J: Your Expenses
• B 106J-2 Schedule J-2: Expenses for Separate Household of Debtor 2
• B 107 Your Statement of Financial Affairs for individuals Filing Bankruptcy
• B 108 Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
• B 121 Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers
• B 122A-1 Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income
• B 122A-1 Supp Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse (only if you qualify for an exception to the means test)
• B 122A-2 Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (only if your income is above the state median income)
Forms Required in Bankruptcy
Each form includes instructions that tell you what to put on the form, but the forms don’t explain the legal consequences of your disclosures. You must do the appropriate research or hire a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney in Ascent Law Firm.
• Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
• Schedule A/B: Property
• Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
• Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured By Property
• Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
• Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
• Schedule H: Your Codebtors
• Schedule I: Your Income
• Schedule J: Your Expenses
• A Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information
• Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules
• Your Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
• Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
• Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation
• Notice Required by 11 U.S.C. § 342(b) for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
• Creditor Mailing List
• Filing Your Petition
The Petition (Bankruptcy Form 101)
The Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy (voluntary petition) is the introductory form where you disclose your personal information such as your name and address. This is also where you indicate your intention to file for Chapter 7 and provide information about the nature of your debts (such as consumer or business), estimated amount of creditors, assets, and liabilities, and any prior bankruptcies filed within the last eight years. Before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must also complete a credit counseling course with an approved agency. You’ll indicate that you’ve done so in your petition and attach a copy of the completion certificate.
Your Property (Bankruptcy Form 106A/B)
Schedule A/B: Your Property is where you disclose any ownership interests you have in both real property and personal property. Real property includes your house, condominium, land, or any other type of real estate you own. When you complete Schedule A/B, provide the description and location of the property, the nature and value of your interest, and the amount of secured claims (such as mortgages or other liens) encumbering the property.
In Schedule A/B, you must also list all of your personal property (property other than real estate). This includes assets such as cash, bank accounts, household goods, clothing, insurance policies, stocks, bonds, annuities, retirement accounts, cars, musical instruments, and any other property of value.
List All Personal Property
Schedule A/B contains an extensive list of the types of assets that should be included on this form. Be sure to include all of your personal property even if you think it is worthless. If you intentionally omit an asset, you may be denied your discharge and even prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud.
Valuing Your Personal Property
When determining the value of your personal property in Schedule A/B, use the property’s replacement value. Replacement value is the amount of money it would cost to purchase an item similar in age and condition (what a retail merchant would charge for a similar item).
Your Exempt Property (Bankruptcy Form 106C)
Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt is where you list the property you can protect in bankruptcy. If you file a Chapter 7 case, you are allowed to keep a certain amount of property, called “exempt” property. If an asset is exempt, it is safe. However, the appointed bankruptcy trustee has the power to sell your nonexempt assets to pay back your creditors.
Each state (and the federal system) has a unique set of bankruptcy exemptions (and a few states allow their citizens to use the federal exemptions). The amount of property you can keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on the exemption laws of your state.
Schedule C is where you list and claim your exemptions for each of the assets listed in your petition—it is arguably one of the most important forms in your bankruptcy petition. To fill out Schedule C, you must determine what bankruptcy exemptions are available to you and research them thoroughly. If you are unsure about whether your property is exempt, talk to a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
Debts Secured By Property (Bankruptcy Form 106D)
Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property is where you include a secured claim—a loan or obligation for which you have pledged a piece of property as collateral. If you fail to pay the obligation, called “defaulting,” the creditor typically has a right to take back the property through foreclosure or repossession. The most common examples of secured claims include your mortgage and car loan. When you fill out Schedule D, include the creditor’s name and contact information, the nature and amount of the lien, date it was incurred, and the description and value of the property subject to the lien. If the lien amount exceeds the value of the property, list the difference in the unsecured portion column.
Unsecured Debts (Bankruptcy Form 106E/F)
Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims is where you list remaining debts, such as credit card bills, personal loans, and medical bills. You also list claims which are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, called “priority claims.” Common examples include certain taxes and domestic support obligations, such as alimony or child support.
Schedule E/F contains instructions regarding which types of debt are considered priority debts. If you believe that only a certain amount of the creditor’s claim is entitled to priority, disclose the entire claim but list the portion not entitled to priority in the appropriate column.
Make Sure to List All Remaining Debts
You must disclose all of your debts in your bankruptcy schedules even if you want to repay them. If you forget to list a debt, it may not get discharged in your bankruptcy. So you should carefully review all of your debts to make sure they are included. It is typically a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report and compare it against your other bills so that you don’t miss anything.
Deficiency Balances After Foreclosure or Repossession
If a secured lender forecloses on or repossesses your property, it will typically sell it at an auction to satisfy its debt. If the sale proceeds are not enough to cover the balance of your loan, you may be on the hook for a deficiency balance (whether you can be held liable for a deficiency depends on the type of property and your state’s deficiency laws). If you have a deficiency balance, you will list it on Schedule E/F because, after foreclosure or repossession of the property, it isn’t a secured debt any longer.
Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases (Bankruptcy Form 106G)
Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases is where you list contracts into which you and a lender have entered and to which both parties are still obligated. Common examples of contracts and leases that should be disclosed on Schedule G include:
• car leases
• rental agreements and real property leases
• license agreements
• contracts to buy or sell real estate, and
• personal property leases.
What Happens to Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases in Bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, your rights under the contract become the property of the bankruptcy estate. The trustee has the power to assume your contract or lease if it will generate value for your creditors. But unless you are paying below-market rates or the trustee can otherwise profit from your contract or lease, he or she will not assume it. If you want to continue with your lease or contract, you can assume it on your Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7 form. If you want to get out of the lease, you can reject it.
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