To file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida, you must carefully complete and sign all of the required Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms and file them with the Court. This article will discuss in detail all of the Bankruptcy Forms that need to be filed in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case.
Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that can have long-term legal and financial consequences including the possible loss of property.
Although individuals are permitted to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, due to the possible consequences and required adherence to Federal rules and local court guidelines, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer before you file.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process, adhere to local rules and prepare and file all of the required Bankruptcy forms on your behalf.
Please keep in mind that If you decide to file bankruptcy without an attorney, you must follow federal law and local court rules and requirements and use the federal and local required forms that are available from the clerk’s office or the court’s website.
Pro Tip: On many occasions, I have seen individuals file Chapter 7 bankruptcy PRO SE or without an attorney. This resulted in their bankruptcy case being dismissed for failure to comply with the rules governing bankruptcy. I have heard bankruptcy judges telling debtors the importance of having a bankruptcy attorney represent them. A Bankruptcy judge and the Clerk cannot offer individuals legal advice concerning filing for bankruptcy in Florida.
Other Documents that May be Required at the Time of Filing:
Note: The Bankruptcy Judge does not decide if your mortgage modification is approved or denied. The Modification Program is a voluntary process.
Debtors seeking to participate in the recently created Student Loan Program must use the Official Student Loans Forms below:
Note: The Bankruptcy Student Loan Program is only available for debtors seeking relief under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
This section will discuss in detail a list of all the Documents and Bankruptcy forms needed to file your case. All Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms and Official Forms Amendments can be downloaded by clicking on the official Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms pdf.
It is important to note that the below documents and Bankruptcy forms are simply the initial set of documents/forms needed to file a case, this is commonly referred to as a “skeletal filing” or “emergency filing”.
You will have 14 days from the date you filed your bankruptcy case to complete and file the rest of the bankruptcy forms. Failure to complete the required forms within the 14-day deadline can result in a dismissal of your bankruptcy case. Failure to adhere to court rules may result in a dismissal of your bankruptcy case.
We will later discuss the entire set of Bankruptcy Forms needed to file a complete Bankruptcy case.
Bankruptcy Official Form 101- Voluntary Petition for Individual for filing Bankruptcy– is the initial Bankruptcy Form to get your case officially opened or “started. The voluntary Petition contains your personal information, it advises the Court on what chapter of bankruptcy you are filing, and what types of debts you have, and it also contains general information about your financial situation such as an overview of your assets, debts, and number of creditors. The voluntary petition is divided into 8 parts.
Note: Since the information entered in the Voluntary Petition can be accessed by the public, only the last 4 digits of your social security number are entered in this section. There is a different form Bankruptcy Official Form 121 – Statement of Social Security Number, which is not available to the public where you will later enter your full social security number.
Note: Part 2, Section 8 asks how you will pay the filing fee. You must select if you are paying the entire fee when you file your petition, if you need to pay the fee in installments, or if you are questing the $338 filing fee be waived. It is up to the Court to determine if your request to pay the filing fee in installments or to waive the fee is granted.
Pro Tip: If possible, try to pay the $338 filing fee in full at the time of filing. If the court permits you to pay the fee in installments and you fail to pay the installment amount when due, the Court may dismiss your bankruptcy case resulting in a bankruptcy on your record without the benefit of discharging your debts.
Bankruptcy Official Form 121- Statement of your Social Security Number– is the Bankruptcy Form that tells the Court of your complete social security number. This document is only for the Court’s review and will not be available to be seen by any other party as the form is redacted and is not a public record.
As discussed in our Complete List Of Documents Needed To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy article, you must complete credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency. The counseling course is usually completed in front of a computer or over the phone. It takes on average 30 minutes to complete the course. Completion is evidenced by receipt of a Certificate of Counseling which must be filed with the court along. The Certificate of filing has to have been completed within 180 days prior to filing the bankruptcy petition.
The Creditor Matrix is simply a list of all of your creditors’ names and addresses. There is no official form for the Court’s requirement of a Creditor Matrix but some Courts such as the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida provide instructions on how the Creditor Matrix should be prepared.
If you are filing without an attorney, you must provide to the Court a legible photocopy of a current government-issued photo ID.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106- Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information– is the Bankruptcy Form that summarizes the total value of your property, the total amount of debts, combined income, and expenses. It gives a summarized picture of your financial situation as of the time you filed your case.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106A/B – Schedule A/B: Property– is the Bankruptcy Form where you will need to list all of the Real Estate and Personal Property (assets) that you have an interest in and the value of the said property. An example of typical assets that would be listed under Schedule A/B is your homestead property, vehicles, financial accounts, household goods and furniture, jewelry, clothes, and cash. Schedule A/B will itemize the different types of property you may own and you will be required to provide information regarding said asset including its value. As a general rule, you must use the “replacement value” of your asset. The replacement value is the price a retail merchant would charge for property of that kind considering the age and condition of the property at the time of your filing.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106C- Schedule C: The Property you Claim as Exempt– is the Bankruptcy form where you tell the Court which exemptions you are using to protect your assets. You must list the asset previously listed under Schedule A/B and then input the Statute of the exemption you wish to apply to protect your asset. This must be properly done to correctly protect your assets. An experienced Bankruptcy Attorney can properly list and exempt your assets if an exemption is available and applies to your particular case.
Pro Tip: Since Chapter 7 involves liquidating your non-exempt assets to pay back your creditors, understanding what exemptions are available is critical if you are looking to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106D- Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured By Property- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list the creditors that are secured against your property. Secured Creditors that are commonly listed under Schedule D are your mortgage company, vehicle financing company, County Property Tax Collector, and Homeowner’s Association.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106E/F- Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list all of your unsecured creditors. The first part of this form, Schedule E- is for unsecured creditors who have a Priority Claim. Unsecured Creditors with a Priority Claim are usually creditors with debts relating to taxes and/or child support. The second part of this form, Schedule F- is where you will list your unsecured non-priority creditors such as credit cards, judgments, personal loans, deficiency debts from car repossession, and everyone else you own money to.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106G- Schedule G: Contracts and Unexpired Leases- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list all of your contracts and unexpired leases such as your rental lease agreement and car lease if you have any.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106H- Schedule H: Co-debtors- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list all of the co-debtors that you have with your debts if any. You will need to provide the name and address of the co-debtor if you have any.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106I- Schedule I: Income- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list all of your current monthly income from all sources such as your wages, self-employment income, Child Support Income, Social Security benefits, Unemployment, and family support (if applicable). You will need to include the income for your spouse if you are married and living in the same household.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106J- Schedule J: Expenses- is the Bankruptcy form where you will need to list all of your current monthly expenses. You will need to include all of your household expenses including your spouse’s expenses if you are married and living in the same household.
Bankruptcy Official Form 106 Declaration- is the Bankruptcy form that contains a signature line for your signature after completing all of the above-mentioned Schedules. With this Bankruptcy form, you are declaring under penalty of perjury that all the information contained in your Bankruptcy schedules is true and correct.
Bankruptcy Official Form 107- Statement of Financial Affairs – also commonly known as “SOFA”- is the bankruptcy form where you will need to answer 28 questions concerning your financial situation for the last few years. This will include questions concerning the total amount of your income over the last 3 years and any lawsuit filed by you or against you. It is important that you carefully read the question and answer them properly. An experienced attorney can discuss with you the consequences of the information you will need to provide and guide you based on your case.
Bankruptcy Official Form 122A-1- Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation- is the bankruptcy form that you will need to complete to determine if there is a presumption of abuse. If there is no presumption of abuse, you will only need to file this one form (122A-1). If there is a Presumption of abuse, as determined in the prior form, you will need to complete Bankruptcy Official Form 122A-2- Means Test Calculation.
Note: The means test compares the annual income with the Florida median annual income for your household size. The means test seeks to determine if you have enough disposable income to pay your debts instead of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you fail the means test you may still be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida.
Bankruptcy Official Form 108- Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7 – is the bankruptcy form where you will need to tell the Court what your intentions are concerning your Secured Creditors and unexpired leases. For example, you will need to list whether you will be retaining and reaffirming the debt concerning your car loan or if you will be surrendering the asset to the Secured creditor.
Official Form 103B- Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived – is the bankruptcy form that must be filed with the Court at the time of filing your case if you wish to apply for the Court to waive the Chapter 7 Filing fee of $338. Keep in mind that to apply for the waiver you must not be able to afford the filing fee and your total combined monthly income for your family must be less than 150% of the official poverty guideline last published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). After reviewing your application, the court may waive your fee, set a hearing for further investigation, or require you to pay the fee in installments or in full.
Local Form 3- Application to Pay Filing fees in Installments- must be filed with the Court when you file your case if you wish to apply for the Court to allow you to pay your Chapter 7 Filing fee of $338 in installments.
Bankruptcy Local Form 1- Declaration Regarding Payment Advices- is the Local Form that needs to be filed with the Court advising if you are attaching copies of Pay Statements received within 60 days of filing from any Employer or indicating this requirement is not applicable because you do not receive any Payment Statements.
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney. The Stiberman Law Firm can help you understand the bankruptcy process and guide you through the bankruptcy forms. Contact us today by calling us at (954) 758-4324 or filling out the form below to get started.
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