What are the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirements

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Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge most of his or her debt and start anew. However, there are government stipulations that a petitioner must do to correctly file for Chapter 7. Below are the required documents and rules:

Chapter 7 Filing Requirements

All petitions and schedules must be accompanied by the filing fee. The filing fee may be via cash, cashier's check, money order or an attorney's firm check, made payable to "Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court." Personal debtors checks will not be accepted. Individual debtors may file an application to pay the filing fee in installments, or apply for a fee waiver. Petitions will not be accepted without one or the other.

Required documents due WITH the petition (minimum filing requirements):

  • $299 Filing Fee or Form 3A - Application to pay in installments or Form 3B - Application for fee waiver
  • Form B1 - Voluntary Petition - Must be signed by the debtor(s). Pro se debtors must include a day time phone number with area code. 
  • Form B1 - Exhibit D to Voluntary Petition - Individual Debtor's Statement of Compliance with Credit Counseling Requirement
  • Mailing Matrix - List of all creditors
  • Form 21 - Statement of Social Security Number
  • Certificate of credit counseling and debt repayment plan (if any)
  • Form 19B - Notice to debtor by bankruptcy petition preparer (if applicable)
  • Form B280 - Statement disclosing compensation paid or to be paid to a bankruptcy petition preparer (if applicable)

Documents due with the petition or within 14 days

  • Form B201 - Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor
  • Schedules A-J
  • Summary of Schedules (file complete set of schedules - any that do not apply, state "none" or check box indicating "none") 
  • Declaration Concerning Debtor's Schedules
  • Form 7 - Statement of Financial Affairs
  • Form 22A - Statement of Current Monthly Income (means test)
  • Copies of all payment advices (pay stubs) or other evidence of payment received by the debtor from an employer within 60 days before filing the petition
  • Form B203 - Statement disclosing compensation paid or to be paid to the attorney for the debtor (if applicable)

Other documents required

  • Provide to the bankruptcy trustee a copy of the Federal income tax return (or transcript of return) for the most recent tax year ending before filing (7 days before the date first set for the Section 341 meeting of creditors)
  • Form 8 - Statement of Intention regarding secured property (required ONLY if the debtor is an individual and the schedule of assests and liabilities contain debts secured by property of the estate) (due within 30 days or by the date set for the Section 341 meeting of creditors, whichever is earlier)
  • Certificate of Financial Management Course (must be filed within 45 days after the Section 341 meeting of creditors) (due before discharge is granted)

Talk with an Attorney

Find an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss Chapter 7 bankruptcy requirements to facilitate a smoother process.