On This Page
- Attorney Representation
- Credit Counseling & Debtor Education
- Documents Required to File Bankruptcy
- Completing Bankruptcy Forms & Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- Payment of Filing Fees
- The Trustee & the 341 Meeting of Creditors
- Chapter 11 Quarterly Fees
- Chapter 11 Plan & Disclosure Statement
- Discharge of Debts under Chapter 11
- Potential Delay or Denial of Discharge
- Credit Rating & Reports
Entities (non-individual debtors) such as corporations or other business debtors may not file bankruptcy without legal counsel. Individual or married couple debtors who choose to file bankruptcy without being represented by legal counsel are considered to be self-represented. Self-represented debtors must comply with the Local Bankruptcy Rules for the Northern District of Florida (N.D. Fla. L.R.), Title 11 of the U.S. Code (11 U.S.C. or “the Bankruptcy Code”) and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Fed. R. Bankr. P.) just as if they were represented by an attorney. Failure to do so can result in dismissal of the case or other sanctions.
All individual debtors who file chapter 11 bankruptcy are required to obtain credit counseling from an approved provider within 6 months before filing for bankruptcy relief. (11 U.S.C. § 521(b)). Debtors are also required to complete an instructional course in personal financial management from an approved provider after filing bankruptcy. (11 U.S.C. § 1141(d)(3)). Failure to obtain the required certifications may result in dismissal of your case or withholding of the discharge. A list of approved providers is available from the Clerk’s Office or the website of the U.S. Trustee Program.
U.S. Trustee Program > List of Approved Providers of Personal Financial Management Instructional Courses
The forms listed below are available from either the United States Courts > Bankruptcy Forms website or the Forms page of this website (Local Forms are designated as “FLNB LF”). Many forms are in interactive (“fillable”) Portable Document Format (PDF) that can be edited using PDF software/viewers or Rich Text Format (.rtf) that can be edited using a word processor. All forms can be printed or saved to your computer.
Note that unless otherwise specified, the form numbers noted in the instructions below are for individual (i.e., not corporate or business) debtors. You will find the appropriate corresponding forms for non-individual debtors on the U.S. Courts' Bankruptcy Forms page.
When filing a bankruptcy case, documents should be placed in the order as they are presented below. Items preceded by an asterisk (*) are required to initiate a bankruptcy case. Failure to include these items may result in the dismissal of the case. All remaining documents must be filed within the specified time period.
- *Filing Fee - The filing fee is to be paid in full at the time of the filing of the petition unless the debtor files a signed Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments (Form B 103A). An application to pay in installments can be filed by individual debtors only (including married couples) and shall be filed at the time of the filing of the petition. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(b).
- *Voluntary Petition (Form B 101 (Individuals) or B 201 (Non-Individuals)) - Required to initiate the bankruptcy case. 11 U.S.C. § 301(a).
- *Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury on Behalf of A Corporation or Partnership (Form B 202), if applicable - must be filed with the petition if a debtor is a corporation or partnership.
- *Corporate Ownership Statement (FLNB LF-2), if applicable - Must be filed with the petition if the debtor is a corporation. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(a)(1).
- *The List of Creditors Who Have the 20 Largest Unsecured Claims Against You Who Are Not Insiders (Form B 104) - Must be filed with the petition. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(d).
- A Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information (Form B 106 Summary) - Must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b), (c).
- Schedules of Your Assets and Liabilities (Schedules 106A/B (Property), 106C (Exempt Property), 106D (Secured Claims), 106E/F (Unsecured Claims)), Your Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases (Schedule 106G), Your Co-Debtors (Schedule 106H), Your Current Income and Expenses (Schedules 106I (Income), 106J (Expenses), 106J-2 (Expenses of Joint Debtor in Separate Household, if applicable)) and Declaration About an Individual Debtor's Schedules (Schedule 106 Declaration) - All schedules must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b),(c).
- Statement of Financial Affairs (Form B 107) - Must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(B)(iii) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b), (c).
- Names and Addresses of Equity Security Holders of the Debtor (no official form) - Must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(a)(3).
- Bankruptcy Petition Preparer's Notice, Declaration and Signature (Form B 119), if applicable - Must be filed with the petition if the bankruptcy petition is prepared by someone other than the debtor(s). 11 U.S.C. § 110(b)(2).
- Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Form B 2800), if applicable - Must be filed with the petition if the bankruptcy petition is prepared by someone other than the debtor(s). 11 U.S.C. § 110(h)(2).
- Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor (Form 2030), if applicable - Must be filed within fourteen (14) days or other date set by the court. 11 U.S.C. § 329 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2016(b).
- Statement of Your Current Monthly Income (Form B 122B) - Must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b), (c).
- *Mailing Matrix (Local Form 36-M, Matrix/List of Creditors. See Instructional Document Inst-1 and LF36-M on the Forms page of this web site) - A typewritten list containing the names and addresses of all creditors of the debtor. Must be filed with the petition. 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(A), Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(a)(1) and N.D. Fla. L.R. 1007-2.
- *Statement About Your Social Security Number (Form B 121) - Required if the debtor is an individual. This form is retained by the attorney for the debtor(s) and is not filed with the court unless the debtor is self-represented. If filing a self-represented case, the form must be filed with the petition. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(f).
- *Motion for Determination and Waiver of Debtor’s Duty to Comply with Credit Counseling Requirement Under 11 U.S.C. Section 109(h)(4) (FLNB LF-18), if applicable - Required if the debtor is an individual requesting a waiver of credit counseling requirements. Must be filed with the petition.
- Copies of the most recent Balance Sheet, Statement of Operations, Cash-Flow Statement and Federal Income Tax Returns or a statement made under penalty of perjury that no balance sheet, statement of operations, and/or cash-flow statement exists and/or that no tax return has been filed (no official form). Must be filed with the petition. 11 U.S.C. § 1116(1).
- Copies of all payment advices or other evidence of payment received (e.g., earnings statements, pay stubs, etc.) by the debtor within 60 days before the filing of the petition or, if the debtor has not received any income from an employer within 60 days before the filing of the petition, a Statement of No Employment Income (FLNB LF 16), whichever is applicable - Required if the debtor is an individual. Must be filed with the petition or within fourteen (14) days. 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(B)(iv) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b), (c).
Your bankruptcy is a public record. Do not place the full Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number on any bankruptcy documents other than the Statement of Social Security Number (Form B 121). Documents of which you are to provide copies, such as pay advices or earnings statements, bank records, or tax documents, must be redacted prior to filing. (Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037). You may redact these documents by abbreviating the personally identifiable information (PII) as shown in the following examples:
- Social Security Number and/or Taxpayer Identification Number: last four digits only (e.g., xxx-xx-1234)
- Financial Account Numbers: last four digits only
- Birthdate: year of birth only
- Names of Minor children: initials only (no names)
Self-represented debtors are required to provide a daytime telephone number and to submit a completed Statement of Social Security Number (Form B 121) with the Voluntary Petition. This document must contain the full Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number and will be retained by the Clerk’s Office as part of the case file but is not made part of the public record.
Correcting an incorrect Social Security Number: If you mistakenly provided an incorrect Social Security Number when filing your bankruptcy case, you must provide an Amended Statement of Social Security Number (Form B 121 marked “Amended” in the title) to the Court. You should only file an amended petition if the error is in the last four digits of the Social Security Number.
- Debtors represented by attorneys: The attorney will mail a copy of the Amended Statement of Social Security Number to the Court and keep the original with the other original bankruptcy documents and retain this document for four (4) years after the case is closed.
- Self-Represented Debtors: You must provide the original Amended Statement of Social Security Number to the Court. We will attach this document to your electronic case record and place the original in your case file but neither the original nor the electronic version of the document will be available for public viewing.
- Notifying Creditors and Parties in Interest: Pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1009(c), the self-represented debtor or the debtor’s attorney shall promptly notify each entity included on Schedules D, E/F, G, and H of the correct Social Security Number(s). A redacted copy of this notice showing only the last four digits of the Social Security Number should be filed with the Court.
Debtors may pay filing fees by cash (exact amount), money order, or cashier’s check. Attorneys may pay filing fees by cash (exact amount), check, money order, cashier’s check, or credit card. Personal checks or credit cards from the debtor, two-party checks, or post-dated checks will not be accepted.
Within ten (10) business days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition with mailing matrix, the court will issue a “Notice of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case.” This notice is sent to all parties listed on the mailing matrix to inform them of the filing of the bankruptcy case. It also advises the debtor and creditors of the date, time and location of the § 341 Meeting of Creditors (also known as the “341 Meeting”) and the deadlines for creditors to file a Proof of Claim and by which objections to discharge or the dischargeability of certain debts must be made. (11 U.S.C. § 341).
Debtors should read the notice carefully to ensure the accuracy of name(s), address(es), and Social Security or Tax Identification Number(s) as well as to determine where and when to attend the 341 Meeting.
The Assistant U.S. Trustee and his staff are employees of the U.S. Department of Justice; they are not employees of the Federal Judiciary or the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida. Their contact information is located here and on the Trustee Information page of this website simply for your convenience.
Information regarding quarterly fee payments to the U.S. Trustee System Fund under 28 11 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6) is available on the U.S. Department of Justice website’s U.S. Trustee Program page for Chapter 11 Quarterly Fees.
The debtor (unless designated a “small business debtor”) has 120 days after the filing of the petition during which to file a plan of reorganization (11 U.S.C. § 1121(b)). This period may be extended or reduced by the court but absolutely may not extend beyond 18 months (11 U.S.C. § 1121(d)). After this exclusivity period has expired, a creditor may file a plan if the debtor has failed to do so. (Note that Small Business Debtors under Subchapter V have different requirements.)
The plan proponent must also file a disclosure statement providing adequate information concerning the affairs of the debtor to enable claim holders to make an informed judgment about the plan. After the disclosure statement is approved by the court, a hearing on confirmation (approval) of the plan will be scheduled. Creditors must vote on the plan before it can be approved (confirmed).
Confirmation of a business debtor’s plan acts as a discharge in the case and generally discharges the debtor from any debt that arose before the date of confirmation. This rule does not apply to individual debtors (including married couples) nor does the discharge include any debt made non-dischargeable by 11 U.S.C. § 523. A discharge is not available to an individual debtor unless and until all payments have been made under the plan (11 U.S.C. § 1141(d)(5)).
Debts not discharged include:
- debts for alimony and child support;
- certain taxes;
- debts for certain educational benefit overpayments or loans made or guaranteed by a governmental unit;
- debts for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity;
- debts for death or personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle while the debtor was intoxicated from alcohol or other substances; and
- debts for certain criminal restitution orders.11 U.S.C. § 523(a).
The debtor will continue to be liable for these types of debts to the extent that they are not paid in the chapter 11 case. Debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses, debts for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity, and debts for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity will be discharged unless a creditor timely files and prevails in an action to have such debts declared non-dischargeable. 11 U.S.C. § 523(c); Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4007(c).
Questions regarding dischargeability of debts should be directed to a competent attorney who is familiar with bankruptcy law.
The court will delay or withhold the discharge for the following reasons, as applicable:
- Failure to file a Certification About a Financial Management Course (Form B 423). If a joint petition is filed, each spouse must complete and file a separate certification.
- The debtor(s) received a discharge within the prior four (4) years if filing a chapter 7, 11 or 12, or within the prior two (2) years if filing a chapter 13.
- *Failure to file the required certifications regarding domestic support obligations.
- A Motion to Delay discharge is pending, including those related to 11 U.S.C. §§ 522(q)(1), 727(a)(12), 1141(d)(5)(c), 1228(f), the filing of tax returns under 521(f)(f), and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b)(8).
- Failure to pay the filing fee.
- A hearing is pending concerning a reaffirmation agreement in which undue hardship is indicated.
- *Failure to file a statement as required under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b)(8), if applicable, or if the statement declares that:
- There is NO pending proceeding in which the debtor may be found guilty under § 522(q)(1)(A) or found liable for a debt in § 522(q)(1)(B), a discharge cannot be provided earlier than thirty (30) days after the filing of the statement. If a related Motion to Delay Discharge is filed prior to the thirty (30) days, the discharge will not be entered pending direction to be provided via resolution of the motion.
- There IS a pending proceeding in which the debtor may be found guilty under § 522(q)(1)(A) or found liable for a debt in § 522(q)(1)(B), the discharge will not be entered pending direction to be provided via the resolution of the pending proceedings and any related motions.
The court and the Clerk’s Office are not responsible for credit reports or the information reported by creditors to credit bureaus. Bankruptcy records are public record and the information contained in them can be retrieved by anyone. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows credit bureaus to keep a bankruptcy on your credit record for up to ten (10) years. Any disputes you have with a credit reporting agency must be resolved by you and that agency.