Once you have decided that bankruptcy is the way ahead for you, the next query that lingers on is how to go about it? Filing bankruptcy is a long drawn procedure that involves a lot of paperwork, most of which revolves around filing forms — Bankruptcy Forms or Bankruptcy Filing Forms.
Bankruptcy filing forms fall under two broad categories — one drafted by the National Judiciary and the other by the state, known as National and Local forms respectively. The National forms are Official as well as Procedural. While it is mandatory to make use of Official forms when filing for bankruptcy, Procedural forms have no such legal bindings.
Local forms are drafted by the state legislature and are subdivided into Local Mandatory and Local Recommended forms respectively. Local Mandatory forms must be put into use when filing a bankruptcy within a particular state to avoid unwanted delays and in some cases, a judgment of dismissal. On the other hand, Local Recommended bankruptcy forms, though not mandatory, should be referred to in order to quicken up the proceedings of the case and avoid any procedural hold ups during the case. Remember that Local forms differ from state to state while National forms are standardized and consistent across the US.
Furthermore, each bankruptcy form type is sketched out exclusively to cater to a particular bankruptcy type. A bankruptcy filed under chapter 7 shall require Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms shall be required to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13 and so on.
It sounds pleasing to the ears that all you need to file for bankruptcy is to pick out the forms corresponding to your bankruptcy type, do the detailing, and file them with a bankruptcy court. Well, the real pie is not so sweet and you may require a lot of research and advice before you are through with bankruptcy procedures. The reason: bankruptcy forms. Although it sounds easy at the first go, but as you move on with bankruptcy procedures, you will realize that a bankruptcy form is not a single document but an exhaustive list of individual forms and documents. Furthermore, you need to tell apart which forms are required to be filled in from those that should be left alone. To showcase the drawn-out nature of the bankruptcy forms, here is a brief on some of the bankruptcy forms.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms
One of the most common bankruptcy types, Chapter 7 forms require detailing to the core. You are required to furnish details of all your creditors, debts, assets and income status. Besides this, there are forms pertaining to waiving off Chapter 7 filing fee, previous bankruptcy records etc and local forms that may vary across states. The forms may prove irksome to deal with, but be sure to be honest and accurate as you fill in those forms so as to avoid any hassles during your bankruptcy petition.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms
Other than chapter 7, it is chapter 13 that is most common form of bankruptcy in the US. Once again, there is huge chunk of information that needs to be filled in. You will be required to furnish details of your creditors, liabilities, assets, income and expenditures, status of leases etc and other local forms of the state.
Chapter 11 & 12 bankruptcy forms are similar in context except that they deal primarily with business organizations and establishments. You will require an attorney to take you through Chapter 11 or 12 bankruptcy procedures and guide you through filling in the requisite forms.
How to access the bankruptcy forms?
Your attorney will arrange for the requisite forms, in case you have hired one. However, if you plan to file bankruptcy independently, the best source to lay your hands on is the US courts website. Not only can you download the requisite forms from there, you can also distinguish between local, national and mandatory forms. It is best suited if you do not skip any of the local forms suggested therein, for it may smoothen the proceedings of your case.
You can also try any of the various sites or organizations that offer bankruptcy software and assembled forms, but remember that these sites charge you for their services.