Filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves fully disclosing your financial affairs on bankruptcy forms. You’ll list income sources and assets, expenses and debts—even property transfers occurring up to ten years before the petition filing—on the petition, schedules, and other documents.
Completing the paperwork takes time. Even the most simple filings are about fifty pages long. If time isn’t something you’ve got—for instance, you’re filing for bankruptcy on the eve of a foreclosure sale—you can file a shortened version called an emergency or skeleton bankruptcy filing.
It takes more than filling out bankruptcy forms to start a bankruptcy case, however. Consumer filers must attend a credit counseling course and attach the completion certificate to the filing documents. Chapter 13 and 11 debtors seeking to reorganize debt must draft and file a proposed repayment plan detailing how each creditor will be paid.
The final step? Be prepared to pay the bankruptcy filing fee. Chapter 7 filers short on cash can ask the court to waive it or to allow payment in installments.
The bankruptcy articles below explain the financial documents you’ll need and where to find the bankruptcy forms. You’ll also find information about credit counseling, fee waivers, emergency filings, and more.