bankruptcy case begins when the petition is filed. The petition also serves as
an order for relief, or a "stay" against any further collection
activities against the debtor, until the case is closed or the creditor is
awarded relief from the stay.
The petitions for Chapter 7 and 13 are very similar, with Chapter 13 also
including a payment plan form and a different means test form. An
individual Chapter 7 petition consists of the following:
Petition - This three page form lists the name and address of the debtor, the
Chapter under which the debtor is filing, certain statistical data, and
information about whether the proper court was chosen.
D to the Voluntary Petition - This form certifies that the debtor has completed
the required pre-filing counseling.
of Schedules and Statistical Summary - These forms provide data for the
trustee and for tracking bankruptcy usage.
A - Used for listing any real estate of the debtor.
B - Used for listing all non-real estate property of the debtor.
C - Used to show what exemptions have been applied to what property.
D - Used to list creditors who have a security interest in the property of the
E - Used to list creditors who have priority claims - claims that are often not
dischargeable in bankruptcy.
F - Used to list all other creditors, such as credit card companies and holders
of other unsecured claims.
G - Used to list contracts that require further performance by both the debtor
and the other party to the contract.
H - Used to list anyone that is also liable on any debts of the debtor, such as
a guarantor or co-signer.
I - Used to list the current or projected income of the debtor as of the
date of the filing of the petition.
J - Used to list the current or projected expenses of the debtor as of the
date of the filing of the petition. Schedule I and J are the basis
for the "forward looking" means test.
Concerning Debtor's Schedules - Signed declaration by the debtor that the above
schedules are true and correct, under the penalty of perjury.
of Financial Affairs - Miscellaneous questions regarding the debtor's income,
assets, history, and payments.
of Intention - States whether the debtor intends to keep or surrender property
that has secured debt.
Disclosure - Shows the amount paid to an attorney for bankruptcy services.
to Debtors - Provides an explanation of the four chapters of bankruptcy
available to individuals, credit counseling requirements, a recommendation to
seek the advice of an attorney, and the penalties of perjury.
of Addresses - A statement that the included creditor addresses are correct to
the best of the debtor's knowledge.
of Social-Security Number - Confirms the identity of the debtor. This form
is kept out of the public record to avoid identity theft.
Test - Used to show the average income and expenses of the debtor over the six
months prior to the filing of the petition. This form is the basis for the
"backward looking" means test.
As the above implies, only an experienced attorney should be used to prepare
the petition, after close consultation with the debtor. Mistakes or omission on
the petition could result in the loss of property or even a conviction of
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