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Understanding the Basics of Bankruptcy Forms

Experienced California attorney manages the details

When it comes to preparing a bankruptcy filing, it can seem as though the forms will never stop. There are mandatory forms for each bankruptcy chapter, forms that only apply in certain situations and local forms for the particular court in which you file. The blizzard of forms can be overwhelming and the consequences of incomplete forms or incorrect entries on forms can be severe, including a rejection of the bankruptcy petition and even prosecution for fraud. These are reasons to seek assistance from an accomplished bankruptcy attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger in Beverly Hills, bankruptcy is all we do and we’ve done it for decades. I have built my practice on an uncompromising attention to detail. I ensure that your filings are correct and that the supporting documentation is complete. Protect yourself by choosing a bankruptcy law firm that has a reputation for smooth operations and positive results.

Why all the forms for personal bankruptcy?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protection, you’re asking the court to discharge your debt and give you a fresh start in your financial affairs. Bankruptcy is intended to help unfortunate but honest debtors. Thus, the forms are intended to verify that you are, in fact, an honest person who had a run of bad luck and not someone trying to game the system. Among the forms you must file for personal bankruptcy are those which:

  • Verify your current monthly income
  • Check your eligibility for Chapter 7 through a means test
  • Calculate disposable income
  • Summarize your assets and debts
  • List the exempt property you are claiming
  • List creditors who hold your secured and unsecured debt
  • Name any co-debtors

For a complete view of forms the U.S. Bankruptcy Court requires, you can visit the court’s website. To find forms required in the bankruptcy court in the Central District of California, you can look here.

Forms necessary for business bankruptcy in California

When you file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you are asking the court to protect your business from creditors so that it can continue to operate and return to profitability. This protection is generally reserved for insolvent companies, whose debts outweigh their assets. The forms that the debtor files to support the claim of insolvency include these:

  • Schedule of assets and liabilities
  • Schedule of current income and expenditures
  • Schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases
  • Statement of financial affairs

You can file business bankruptcy under Chapter 11 as an individual or a non-individual. Individuals must also file a certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed during credit counseling. Individuals must also report any payments from employers that were received 60 days before filing.

Errors or misstatements on a company’s bankruptcy forms can lead the court to determine the business is solvent. That finding could result in a dismissal of the bankruptcy petition. This is just one of the reasons you must consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney with a record of success in cases like yours.

Contact an accomplished California bankruptcy lawyer to manage your filings

Based in Beverly Hills, the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger represents clients in all aspects of bankruptcy law throughout Southern California. To help ensure your filings are complete and correct, call our firm at 310-271-6223 or contact us online.


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