Bankruptcy is a form-driven type of law. The free fillable bankruptcy forms you'll need can be found on the U.S. Courts website. Your case will begin once you’ve completed them and filed the forms with your local bankruptcy court.
You’ll use the forms in the first list for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The second set of lists includes forms specific to each bankruptcy chapter. Finally, in the last list, you’ll find forms that you might or might not need, depending on your case.
Everyone who files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 must complete and file the following forms even if there’s nothing to report (write “none” in the disclosure box).
Additional required form. You’ll also need to prepare a list of the names and addresses of your creditors using the format required by your court’s local rules. You’ll find the local rules on the court’s website.
The first two forms must be filed in a Chapter 7 case. The last two forms can help you pass the means test and qualify for a Chapter 7 debt discharge.
Find out about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.
You’ll need these forms for your Chapter 13 plan.
These forms aren’t required in each case—only when applicable. For instance, you’ll use one or more if you need to disclose an eviction judgment, want help paying the bankruptcy fee, if you're paying expenses for two homes, or if you used a bankruptcy petition preparer.
If you're represented by an attorney, your attorney will need to disclose the amount paid and who made the payment on your behalf, if it wasn't you.
Each form has instructions explaining the type of information needed. The forms don’t cover the legal consequences of your entries, however, so you’ll want learn what will happen in your case by doing research or by consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer.
If you’re not sure which chapter to file, start by reading When Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Better Than Chapter 13?