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Every local bankruptcy court has one or more additional special forms that you must file when you file the standard set of bankruptcy forms. All courts have special local requirements for the "mailing matrix" of the names and addresses of your creditors. Every court publishes very specific rules about how this list must be formatted so that the court can scan it into its computer system. Check your court's website (California Central District Bankruptcy Court) to find out its mailing matrix requirements, as well as other required forms. Such requirements are typically found in a list of local rules.
If you're lucky, your court may publish a special procedural guide specifically for debtors who are filing without a lawyer. Until recently, most courts, however, did not offer this kind of information on their web sites. That has changed a lot in the past few years and several courts offer very good information.
Local forms for the California Central District Bankruptcy Court and local rules can be obtained by clicking here
Each district court has its own preferred format for the mailing matrix -- a list of of creditors that you must supply when you file, formatted in a certain way so that the court can scan it.
Matrix requirements can be found in the local rules or sometimes a separate instruction sheet available on the website.
Your court may also have a local requirements regarding any reaffirmation agreement you make with a creditor. Courts review such agreements closely to make sure the creditor is not ripping you off and that one creditor is not benefiting at the expense of others.
Can't find what you're looking for? Additional forms can be found at the official forms page forms provided by the US Court system. All bankruptcy forms available for free as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) forms. Source: USCourts.gov
Forms That Start the Process
|B 101||Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
This is the form that starts the bankruptcy process. Don't file this unless you've completed a credit counseling course first.
|B 101A||Initial Statement About an Eviction Judgment Against You (individuals)|
|B 101B||Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgment Against You (individuals)|
|B 103A||Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments|
|B 103B||Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived
If your income is low, this form can get your filing fee waived
Where you list
Summaries and cover sheets of schedules
|B 106 Declaration||Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules|
|B 106 Summary||A Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information (individuals)|
Your Property: Schedules A and B and C
Real Estate and all other kinds of property you own: Schedule A/B
|B 106A/B||Schedule A/B: Property (individuals)|
Exempt property (property you can keep): Schedule C
|B 106C||Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt (individuals)|
Your Debts: Schedules D, E, and F
Secured Debts: Schedule D
Debts for which you have pledged collateral, like home loans and car loans.
|B 106D||Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured By Property (individuals)|
Unsecured Debts: Schedule E/F
|B 106E/F||Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims (individuals)|
Contracts and Leases that are ongoing: Schedule G
|B 106G||Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases (individuals)|
Codebtors: Schedule H
Did you know that your co-signors will be stuck with whatever debt you are discharged of? Here's where you list them.
|B 106H||Schedule H: Your Codebtors (individuals)|
Your Income & Expenses: Schedules I & J
Your Income: Schedule I
|B 106I||Schedule I: Your Income (individuals)|
Your Expenses: Schedule J
|B 106J||Schedule J: Your Expenses (individuals)|
|B 106J-2||Schedule J-2: Expenses for Separate Household of Debtor 2 (individuals)|
Statement of Financial Affairs
|B 107||Your Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy (individuals)|
What you plan to do with your secured debts:
|B 108||Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7|
|B 119||Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration and Signature|
|B 121||Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers|
Means Test Forms
For Chapter 7
|B 122A-1||Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income|
|B 122A-1Supp||Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2)|
|B 122A-2||Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation|
For Chapter 13
|B 122C-1||Chapter 13 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period|
|B 122C-2||Chapter 13 Calculation of Your Disposable Income|
|B 2400A||Reaffirmation Documents|
|B 2400A/B ALT||Reaffirmation Agreement|
|B 2400B||Motion for Approval of Reaffirmation Agreement|
|B 2400C||Order on Reaffirmation Agreement|
|B 2400C ALT||Order on Reaffirmation Agreement (Alt.)|
|B 1040||Adversary Proceeding Cover Sheet|
Can't find what you're looking for? Additional forms can be found at the official forms page forms provided by the US Court system. All bankruptcy forms available for free as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) forms.
Each court has its own local rules, but the basic bankruptcy consists of the forms you see listed in the outline below, plus any additional forms the California Central District Bankruptcy Court may require.
Also, be sure to check the California Central District Bankruptcy Court page for Filing Without An Attorney. It will guide you to helpful information about how to use the forms.
Timeliness note: Always check that the date on the form you're using is the date of the form your court currently requires -- or will require in the future, on the date you're planning to file. Each form has a a month and year in the upper right corner.
Sometimes forms are updated and change several times during a year, and other times there may be no changes for a year or more. We make every effort to keep the links on this page up to date, but it's essential that you confirm with the California Central District Bankruptcy Court that you are using what they consider to be the current version of all forms.
The information below is based on the official bankruptcy form instructions booklet for individuals (PDF 119K) that the government is providing for the first time as of December 1, 2015 and updated in 2020.
Before you file for bankruptcy, you must do several things:
There are several forms and documents that you must give the court at the time you file. Additional forms and documents must be filed no later than 14 days after you file your bankruptcy case, although they may be filed at the same time you file your case.
You must file the forms listed below on the date you open your bankruptcy case. For copies of the forms listed here, go here. (The list continues on the next page.):
Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy (Official Form 101). This form opens the case. Directions for filling it out are included in the form itself.
Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Official Form 121). This form gives the court your full Social Security number or federal Individual Taxpayer Identification number. To protect your privacy, the court will make only the last four digits of your number known to the general public. However, the court will make your full number available to your creditors, the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator, and the trustee assigned to your case. This form has no separate instructions.
Your filing fee. If you cannot pay the entire filing fee, you must also include:
Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived (Official Form 103B). Use this form only if you are filing under chapter 7 and you meet the criteria to have the chapter 7 filing fee waived.
You must file the forms listed below either when you file your bankruptcy case or within 14 days after you file your Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy (Official Form 101). If you do not do so, your case may be dismissed. Although it is possible to open your case by submitting only the documents that are listed under When you file your bankruptcy case, you should file the entire set of forms at one time to help your case proceed smoothly.
Although some forms may ask you similar questions, you must fill out all of the forms completely to protect your legal rights.
The list below shows the forms that all individuals must file as well as the forms that are specific to each chapter. For copies of the official forms listed here, go to https://www.uscourts.gov.
All individuals who file for bankruptcy must file these forms and the forms for the specific chapter:
Schedules of Assets and Liabilities (Official Form 106) which includes these forms:
Credit counseling certificate that you received from an approved credit counseling agency
Copies of all payment advices (pay stubs) or other evidence of payment that you received within 60 days before you filed your bankruptcy case. Some local courts may require that you submit these documents to the trustee assigned to your case rather than filing them with the court. Check the local court’s website to find out if local requirements apply. Go to https://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks.
If necessary, Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (Official Form 122A-2)
Request for Transcript of Tax Return (IRS 4506-T)
The U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Courts website offers a fairly decent, plain-English glossary of bankruptcy terminology, which can be helpful when reading local rules and forms.
Instructions are easier to come by than they used to be. The official U.S. Court website now offers instructions with these forms.
In addition they offer a link to the congressional committee reports that were written at the time the forms were created and revised. These committee reports are not step-by-step instructions, but rather a broad description of the purpose of each form.
The legal publisher Nolo publishes a comprehensive bankruptcy form instruction book (which I co-author). This book takes you through each form, line by line, explains what the terminology means, and provides examples. It also alerts you to situations that may require more help.
There are several software products designed for lawyers that will prepare full sets of bankruptcy forms, but these programs assume you already know bankruptcy law and are designed for filing multiple bankruptcies. In short, they're not appropriate for first-time bankruptcy filers.
There are also a few packages purportedly offered for consumers. Proceed with caution. Some of these packages are little more than PDF versions of the forms, which are are available free from the courts themselves.
If you are not a lawyer, the only value of these products would depend on the quality of the instructions they provide. You'll need instructions on how to complete each form, as well as a good understanding of how each form fits into the larger process of filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Petition Preparers (BPPs) are nonlawyers who offer help in filling in the forms. The latest revision of the bankruptcy laws formally recognized these services as legitimate, but also imposed severe restrictions on what they can charge and scope of the services they can perform.
Lawyers have jealously guarded their turf when it comes to bankruptcy. Lawyers already lost this battle in the area of tax preparation. Today, non-lawyer tax preparers openly advertise the good advice they can give you in addition to completing your forms. BPPs can do no such thing when it comes to bankruptcy forms.
Under the new bankruptcy law, BPPs must give debtors a form that lists all the things BPPs can't do (form B 119), and all the topics they can't discuss -- basically anything that might be characterized as legal advice. Thus, the sort of tips that tax preparers commonly give to people when preparing their taxes, BPPs can't give when bankruptcy forms. (Some believe this raises profound First Amendment and restraint of trade issues.)
How to File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (HFB book) will not give you specific advice, either, but it does discuss important facts to consider in making the kinds of decisions listed the following table:
|What BPPs can't do (language of Form B 19)||Plain English||Where topic is covered in HFB Book.|
|I am forbidden
to offer you any legal advice, including advice about any of the following:
|• whether to file a petition under the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.);||Whether you should file for bankruptcy||Ch. 1 (free sample chapter)|
|• whether commencing a case under chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13 is appropriate;||What kind of bankruptcy you should file for||Ch. 1 (free sample chapter)|
|• whether your debts will be eliminated or discharged in a case under the Bankruptcy Code;||Which debts are non-dischargeable, secured, etc.||Ch's. 9, 5|
|• whether you will be able to retain your home, car, or other property after commencing a case
under the Bankruptcy Code;
|Whether you'll lose your house, car, or other property||Chs. 3, 4, 5|
|• concerning the tax consequences of a case brought under the Bankruptcy Code;||Tax consequences||Not covered|
|• concerning the dischargeability of tax claims;||Whether or not your tax debts will be wiped out||Ch. 9|
|• whether you may or should promise to repay debts to a creditor or enter into a reaffirmation
agreement with a creditor to reaffirm a debt;
|Which secured loans are worth hanging onto, versus other options (e.g. surrendering property)||Ch. 5|
|• concerning how to characterize the nature of your interests in property or your debts; or||Whether property is exempt
into which exemption category a particular item fits
|Ch. 3, 4|
|• concerning bankruptcy procedures and rights.||What happens in bankruptcy; what are your rights||Whole book|