Amendments to Official Bankruptcy Forms 3A (Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments), 3B (Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived), 6I (Schedule I: Your Income), 6J (Schedule J: Your Expenses), 6 Summary (Summary of Schedules), 23 (Debtor’s Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Financial Management) and 27 (Reaffirmation Agreement Cover Sheet), bankruptcy form changes are expected to take effect on December 1, 2013, if approved by the Judicial Conference at its meeting in September 2013.
Other bankruptcy form changes to Official Forms 3A, 3B, 6I, and 6J, which are only used in individual debtor cases, are revised as part of the Bankruptcy Rules Advisory Committee’s ongoing Forms Modernization Project (“FMP”). Early in its evaluation of the existing bankruptcy forms, the FMP concluded that case opening forms for individuals should be separated from those used by entities. Forms used by individuals are designed to be more easily understood by users who are unfamiliar with bankruptcy and who are often not represented by an attorney, in addition to some restyling and minor substantive changes.
Official Forms 6 Summary and 27 are revised with updated line number cross references to Schedules I and J.
Official Form 23 is revised in connection with a change to Bankruptcy Rule 1007(b)(7) that is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2013. The rule change will relieve individual debtors of the obligation to file Official Form 23 if the provider of an instructional course concerning personal financial management directly notifies the court that the debtor has completed the course. This is a very important change for self-represented debtors and will most likely eliminate the need for debtor’s to go through the expensive process of reopening their bankruptcy case merely to file Official Form 23 because they “forgot” to file the form with the court. Official Form 23 is revised to reflect the rule change by including an instruction stating that the debtor should complete and file the form only if the provider has not already notified the court of the debtor’s completion of the course. It is not yet clear as to how a debtor will know if the provider has provided notice to the court that the debtor completed the course.
Unfortunately our office no longer offers bankruptcy document preparation services, however, if you are in the California Central District, the court offers a free online bankruptcy document preparation service which you may want to check out.