How often I have seen Pro Se Debtors huddled around this Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Woodland Hills. Of course, the material is hopefully helpful as a sample to ALL debtors wherever you may reside given the general uniformity of these forms in the federal bankruptcy courts.
I lecture directly from this sample bankruptcy petition at my self-help seminar and it is routine to see Pro Se Debtors return 2-3 times to self-help to gain additional insight into how to fill out their petitions.
Below is a copy of that very Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition for your view and use:
NOTE: Please note that the original sample petition from 2010 is no longer available for archival purposes and has been replaced by the latest 2017 sample bankruptcy petition.
The self-help desk at the Bankruptcy Court typically does not give out copies of this sample primarily so that debtors don’t simply copy down the information verbatim. Still, if used properly as an exemplar, I hope you all find this instructive and that it helps you fill out your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition.
The self-help desk is an excellent resource and I am very proud to volunteer for the Public Counsel’s Debtor Assistance Project on a weekly basis. I believe firmly in empowering Pro Se Debtors and helping to answer their questions, but if you decide you need bankruptcy counsel please make sure to get the help and attention you need. The experience and insight of a good bankruptcy attorney is a valuable thing and can help you avoid the countless ways your bankruptcy can go awry.
If you still need some additional help and hiring a bankruptcy attorney is simply not feasible, I often recommend Nolo’s incredible resource on the topic of How to File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It is one of the most comprehensive and inexpensive resources on the topic. It is also found in most public libraries.
UPDATE 2017: Updates to this Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition have occurred. Please see Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition.