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Filing Bankruptcy Forms at the Correct Location

by Mark Sander5 min read
Filing Bankruptcy Forms at the Correct Location

Once you decide that you have no other choice but to file for bankruptcy, then you will need to fill in a lot of paperwork. It doesn’t matter whether you file for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, you will still have to submit a rather large packet of bankruptcy forms and supporting documents to the bankruptcy courts. These forms will be used by the court-appointed trustee to check and assess all your assets as well as your financial records, debts and transaction history.


Official Bankruptcy Forms

Bankruptcy forms are available on the United States Courts website. You may download and print blank copies of these forms. From 2015 onwards, the courts began the process of updating and revising the bankruptcy forms to make them more relevant. As of December 1, 2017, all forms have been revised and uploaded on the US Courts website.


bankruptcy forms
The various bankruptcy forms that need to be filed


Local Bankruptcy Forms

Please ensure you check with your local courts about whether you need to submit any other documents. This is because your local bankruptcy court may ask you to submit some other forms in addition to the official bankruptcy forms. You can use this court locator link to find your local court’s website and/or location. Once you reach the local court’s website, you should look under the navigation tab of either “Forms” or “Filing without an Attorney” to see which forms you need over and above the official ones.


Filing Bankruptcy Forms

Currently, you need to file the bankruptcy forms personally at your local bankruptcy court. If you have employed an attorney, then he or she will prepare all your paperwork, have you review it all to ensure that the information is accurate and then file your application for bankruptcy electronically.

The good news is a lot of local courts are now running pilot programs that allow individual filers to submit their forms electronically. Depending on the success of this pilot, more courts may also offer this option in the future.


Filing Bankruptcy Forms at the Correct Location

The Federal bankruptcy courts have been divided into Judicial Districts. You need to ensure that you file your bankruptcy forms at the correct location. Here are the criteria for choosing the right location:

  • The judicial district court where you have spent the larger part of 180 days before you file for bankruptcy
  • The judicial district where you are domiciled, even if you have been living somewhere else temporarily (e.g. a military base)

Remember, there are still state specific laws that will need to be adhered to when filing for bankruptcy. So you can check the Bankruptcy Information specific to your state to make sure you’re not making any mistakes.

If you have assets in places other than where you live, or your own a business, there will be even more forms that you will need to submit.

If you feel that you need some help, you should consult with your local bankruptcy attorney to ensure that all your bankruptcy forms are in order before you file them.