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1.4.3 The Official Bankruptcy Forms

Lastly, official bankruptcy forms have been promulgated for use in bankruptcy cases. These are detailed examples of what various documents in a case are to contain. The Bankruptcy Rules provide that the official forms must be “observed and used without alteration, except as otherwise provided in these rules, in a particular Official Form, or in the national instructions for a particular Official Form.”92 The Official Forms include a national form for a chapter 13 plan. However, that form should not and cannot be used in judicial districts that have adopted their own local form chapter 13 plans.93 Instead, a judicial district can require that the local form be used.94

The official bankruptcy forms filed at the outset of a case have been totally rewritten in recent years to make many of the forms clearer and more understandable, to conform them to statutory changes, and to protect somewhat the privacy of debtors and their dependents. In addition, the Judicial Conference has published instructions for completing the forms.

The Official Bankruptcy Forms, as most recently amended in 2015, along with the official instructions, appear in Appendix D, infra. They may all be found on the website of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.95

Footnotes

  • 92 {92} Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9009.

  • 93 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3015(c).

  • 94 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3015.1.

  • 95 {93} The Official Bankruptcy Forms are available at www.uscourts.gov. Not all of the forms are available in a fillable PDF format.