Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition

Posted by Ilyse Klavir, Esq. - February 26, 2010 - Uncategorized - 28 Comments

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:

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: This Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition has been minorly updated.  You might also review the 2010 Updated Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition.

UPDATE 3/20/2013: Further updates to this Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition have occurred. Please see 2013 Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition.

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28 comments

  • diy4law says:

    Its a great sample, people will get all information related to bankruptcy procedure and documents, forms and all about bk. Thanks and keep it up..DIY4LAW

  • T. VanB says:

    Thank you so much for the look at the chapter 7 forms as they should be filled out. I have no money for an attorney and I’ve been agonizing over the bankruptcy form packet for over a month. Again thank you, it means so much to me that your willing to help.

  • Shannel says:

    I have a question, are you suppose to add student loans to Schedule F, I know they can not be discharged but are they still supposed to go on there? Please if anyone knows help!!!!

  • Linda Nash says:

    I would like to get some more understanding on chp 7 scheduled D.Creditors holding secured claims. this means my 4 law suits. and would i put my medical bills also on the Schedule D? i am prose cant afford an attorney. and on disability. help please.

  • Linda Nash says:

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANSWER ON MY FIRST QUESTION.
    i HAVE A LOT OF CHARGE OFF ON 2 CARS REPO. AND OTHERS ARE CHARGE CARDS. SHOULD I STILL PUT THEM ON MY SCHEDULE ? YES I DO HAVE MY 3 CREDIT REPORTS ALSO.

    ONE OF MY CHARGE OFF CARS THE COLLECTORS WANT ME TO STILL GO TO COURT AND I CALLED THEM TO ASK WHY SHOULD I GO TO COURT ? I SENT THEM PROOF MY DISABILITY LETTER.
    I WILL STILL PUT THEM ON MY SCHEDULE D.
    3. I HAD A BUSINESS 3 1/2 YEARS AGO. I AM DISABLED. LIVE IN INDIANA. SO IS IT ALRIGHT FOR ME TO NOT EVEN BOTHER WITH THAT?

    • 1. Yes, schedule all your debts even charged off debts and give everyone you could possibly give notice of your bankruptcy.

      2. Once you file your bankruptcy your should file a Notice of Stay of Proceeding in the State Court regarding the collector on one of your vehicles.

      3. I am not sure exactly what your mean regarding your business. However, on the Statement of Financial Affairs you will be asked if you owned a business in the last six years and you should mention this fact there. If the business is no longer operating and is not an asset there is no reason to list it, but if you have liabilities from the business, you should list in on Schedule F and as a co-debtor on Schedule H.

  • [...] been updated as of April 2010 and can be found below.   This filled out example has replaced the sample chapter 7 bankruptcy petition I lecture from at my self-help desk at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Woodland [...]

  • Ray says:

    I’ve been unemployed for since 2008. I exhausted all my savings and have no property at all. I am considering filing for chapter 7 but can’t afford a lawyer. I only have 2 credit cards with a combined balance of approximately 14K. I would think filing for chapter 7 in my case would be simple as I’m completely broke and only have 2 creditors to list. Can you tell me what exactly what forms apply to me? There’s so many schedules and I’m guessing most don’t apply to me. Thank you.

    • Ray says:

      Please disregard my previous message. It’s becoming clearer for me in terms of what schedules apply in my situation. I will have a few questions once I’m done. Thank you.

  • Anni Spellegrino says:

    Yes! Finally something about bankruptcy!

  • [...] can’t believe that it has been a couple years since I posted my first Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition. The Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition has been revised, improved and updated for [...]

  • Susan Borden says:

    I paid off two new cars, a 1st mortgage with one 30 day late, and a 2nd mortgage with no lates. Will these be removed from my credit record as well as the bad debt?

  • Susan Borden says:

    Forgot to mention the good credit is 4 years old, and the debts went bad 3 years ago.

  • [...] Klavir & Associates has a sample Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. It’s worth a look to understand the basic model of a non-asset consumer bankruptcy. Basically, you (1) show that you qualify for a Chapter 7 by passing a means test; (2) fill out schedules showing your real and personal property and your secured and unsecured debt; (3) a key schedule is the exemptions schedule, which shows that your personal property is exempt. If it is, you keep everything, lose all your debts and you’re good to go. It’s not that simple for everyone, but that is the structure you’re dealing with. [...]

  • Robert Topartzer says:

    I have a lawsuit waiting trial. What schedule does that go on?

    ihave two part time jobs one in sales onother as a auto damage appraiser.
    I am an independent contractor pn both.

    Can I claim my vehicle as axempt as necessary for my profession? It is over the normal auto value under the 704 exemptions. I need to use the 704 exemptions due to the homestead provision..

    • The lawsuit should go on the Statement of financial affairs. Where the other info goes depends on if the lawsuit and if against you or if you are asserting a claim against someone else.

  • Melissa says:

    I have a question,
    Do i have to turn in my petition where my Trustee office is? My office is Los Angeles but I work in Valley, so its easier to go to the San Fernando valley court.

  • Melissa says:

    thanks for your prompt response, I like alot of people asking for advice cant afford a lawyer and doing this alone, a couple questions,

    1. Do my student loans need to be on the mailing list also?

    2. i was a co-signer with my mother on one of her cars. she recently files bankruptcy and was ordered she return the car, everything was discharched, Do I need to add that account to my schedule F?

    3. A creditor is currently granishing my wages, Where does that information go?

    4. are students loans added to Schedule j as expenses?

    i think that is all for now… thanks a lot

    • 1. Yes, you need to put the creditor who made your student loan on your mailing list.

      2. Yes, you need to add the account for your mother’s vehicle on which you cosigned even if her bankruptcy was discharged and she was ordered to return the vehicle.

      3. You need to list on the Schedule F mailing list the creditor attorney and sheriff and on the State of Financial Affairs. Also, in the state court, you need to Stay the Proceeding.

      4. Yes, student loans should be added to Schedule J as expenses.

  • Francis says:

    I’m 67 years old and and on Social Security Benefits, I own a condo FREE and CLEAR in Joint Tenancy with my brother.I want to file for chapter 7 because most of what I owed is due to fraudulent charges

  • SARITA says:

    YOUR SAMPLE PETITION IS THE MOST HELPFUL TOOL I FOUND ON OR OFF THE INTERNET.
    THANKS

  • […] Sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition – Southern California … How often I have seen Pro Se Debtors huddled around this sample chapter 7 bankruptcy petition at the United States Bankruptcy Court self-help. […]

  • I just want to let everyone know that I read all your comments and questions regarding the sample Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition. As I am able, I will often respond to your comments via email unless it is a general question that might be helpful to everyone.

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