When you're ready to file for bankruptcy, you'll complete the official bankruptcy forms found on the U.S. Court's bankruptcy form webpage. We've separated the forms into helpful categories because the court's list isn't the easiest to use.
You'll use the forms in the first list when filing for Chapters 7 and 13. Next, you'll find forms specific to each bankruptcy chapter. The final list includes forms 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). If you don't file a form because you don't think it applies, the trustee will move to dismiss your case.
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.
You must file the first two forms 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.
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 an attorney represents you, your attorney will need to disclose how much you paid for legal services, and if you didn't pay personally, the name of the person who paid on your behalf. Your lawyer will know which form to use. Learn about typical lawyer fees in Chapter 7.
Each form has instructions explaining the type of information needed. However, the forms don't cover the legal consequences of your entries, so you'll want to learn what will happen in your case by doing research or consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer.
Bankruptcy is an unusual area of law because it's essentially a qualification process. The laws provide instructions for completing a 50- to 60-page bankruptcy petition, and because all rules apply in every case, you can't skip a step.
The forms and resources below will help you find more information. Also, this handy bankruptcy document checklist will help you gather the things you'll need to complete the petition.
More Bankruptcy Information
You'll find fillable, downloadable bankruptcy forms on the U.S. Courts bankruptcy form webpage.
We want to help you find the answers you need. Go to TheBankruptcySite for more easy-to-understand bankruptcy articles, or consider buying a self-help book like The New Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O'Neill.
We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by consulting with a local bankruptcy lawyer.