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Chapter 12 - Family Farmer or Fisherman

The information provided here is intended to answer frequently asked questions and is not to be interpreted as legal advice or to serve as a complete guide as to what is required to be filed, provided or completed in a chapter 12 case.   This information is subject to change without notice. 
 

Attorney Representation


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 United States 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.

The laws pertaining to bankruptcy are very complex.  The staff of the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the judge, the judge’s staff, and/or the trustee appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case are not permitted to answer legal questions for you, nor can they provide guidance as to the content or types of documents that may be required in your bankruptcy case.  Please see the Filing Without an Attorney section of this website for more information if you are contemplating filing bankruptcy without legal representation.

 

Credit Counseling & Debtor Education


All individual debtors who file chapter 12 bankruptcy are required to obtain credit counseling from an approved provider within 6 months before filing for bankruptcy relief. Failure to obtain the required certification 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 Credit Counseling Agencies
U.S. Trustee Program > List of Approved Providers of Personal Financial Management Instructional Courses
 

Documents Required to File Bankruptcy


The forms listed below are available from either the United States Courts > Bankruptcy Forms website or the Forms page of this web site (Local Forms are designated as “FLNB LF”).  Many of the forms are in interactive (“fillable”) Portable Document Format (PDF) and all 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.

Form numbers referenced below, with limited exceptions, are forms for individual debtors. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a non-individual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). A non-individual may not appear as a debtor in a bankruptcy case except through representation by an attorney admitted to practice in this district.
  1. *Filing Fee - The filing fee is to be paid in full at the time of the filing 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 with the petition.  Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(b).
  2. *Voluntary Petition (Form B 101 (Individuals) or B 201 (Non-Individuals)) - Required to initiate the bankruptcy case.  11 U.S.C. § 301(a).
  3. *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.
  4. *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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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) and 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1).
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. 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).
  11. *Mailing Matrix (no official form - see Instructional Document Inst-1 on the Forms page of this website) - 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.
  12. *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).
  13. *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.
  14. Copies of all payment advices or other evidence of payment received by the debtor (e.g., earnings statements, pay stubs, etc.) 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).
  15. Chapter 12 Plan (no official form) - Must be filed within ninety (90) days of the filing of the petition.  11 U.S.C. § 1221.

 

Completing Bankruptcy Forms & Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)


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.

 

Payment of Filing Fees


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.
 

To Prevent Automatic Dismissal of your Bankruptcy Case (11 U.S.C. § 521(i)(1))


The following documents must be filed within 45 days of the filing of the petition or the case will be dismissed automatically without hearing or further notice:

  • Mailing Matrix/List of Creditors
  • Schedules of Assets and Liabilities - Schedules A/B, D, & E/F (Schedules 106A/B, 106D, & 106E/F)
  • Schedules of Current Income & Expenditures - Schedules I & J (Schedules B 106I, B 106J, & 106J-2, if applicable)
  • Statement of Financial Affairs (Form B 107)
  • Certificate pursuant to § 342(b), if applicable (contained in the Voluntary Petition or Form B 2010 linked here and also available on the Forms page of the U.S. Court’s Website) - When the debtor is represented by legal counsel, the attorney’s signature on Exhibit B (page 2) of the Voluntary Petition certifies compliance with this provision.
  • Copies of all payment advices or other evidence of payment received (e.g., earnings statements, pay stubs, etc.) within 60 days before the filing of the petition
  • A statement disclosing any reasonable anticipated increase in income or expenditures over the 12-month period following the date of the filing of the petition. This information can be provided in Schedule J.

 

The Trustee and the 341 Meeting of Creditors


Within ten (10) business days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition with mailing matrix, the court will issue a “Notice of Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Case.”  This notice is sent to all parties listed on the mailing matrix to inform them of the bankruptcy case filing.  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.
 
Debtors must present a form of photo identification at the 341 Meeting as well as verification of his or her Social Security Number.  (11 U.S.C. § 521(h)).  If these items are not provided, the meeting may have to be rescheduled to another date.  The debtor’s failure to attend the 341 Meeting (including both husband and wife in joint cases) could result in dismissal of the party who did not attend (in joint cases) or dismissal of the entire case.
 
The 341 Meeting will be conducted by an impartial case trustee appointed by the Assistant U.S. Trustee, to evaluate and monitor the case and serve as a disbursing agent, collecting payments from the debtor and making distributions to the creditors.  At the 341 Meeting, the debtor(s) will be placed under oath. The trustee and any creditors in attendance may ask questions regarding the debtor’s acts, conduct, property, financial records, bankruptcy case documents, and the administration of the case.
 
Within seven (7) days prior to the date set for the § 341 Meeting of Creditors, individual (non-business) debtors must provide to the trustee (not the Court) a copy of the Federal Income Tax Return (or transcript of the return) for the most recent year ending before filing.  (11 U.S.C. § 521(e)(2)).  Do not file this document with the court unless specifically directed.
 
The name and contact information for the trustee assigned to the case is provided on the Notice of Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors & Deadlines.
 

Assistant U.S. Trustee for the Northern District of Florida
Charles F. Edwards
110 E. Park Ave., Ste. 128
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 942-1661
http://www.justice.gov/ust/r21

 
Chapter 12 Trustee
Leigh D. Hart
P.O. Box 646
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 681-2734
https://www.13network.com/

The Assistant U.S. Trustee, the Chapter 12 Trustee, and their staffs 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. 

 

The Chapter 12 Plan and Confirmation


The debtor must file a plan of repayment to creditors within ninety (90) days of the filing of the petition (11 U.S.C. § 1221).  The plan must provide for payments of fixed amounts to the trustee on a regular basis for a specified period of time, usually three to five years.  After the plan is filed with the court, a “confirmation hearing” will be held for the judge to decide if the plan is feasible and meets the standards for confirmation under 11 U.S.C §§ 1224 and 1225.  Once the court approves (“confirms”) the plan, the trustee then distributes the funds to the creditors according to the terms of the plan.
 

Discharge of Debts under Chapter 12 (11 U.S.C. § 1228(a))


Confirmation of a corporation or partnership 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.  Individual debtors (including married couples) will not receive a discharge unless and until all payments are made and other requirements for discharge are met.  (11 U.S.C. § 1228).

Certain types of debts are not dischargeable and the debtor is still liable for repayment of these debts if not paid in full under the plan.  Some of the common types of these debts include:

  • debts for most taxes and/or debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable taxes;
  • domestic support obligations (such as child support or alimony);
  • most student loans;
  • debts provided for under 11 U.S.C. §§ 1222(b)(5) or (b)(9) and on which the last payment or other transfer is due after the date on which the final payment under the plan was due;
  • debts for most fines, penalties, forfeitures, or criminal restitution obligations;
  • debts for personal injuries or death caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated;
  • debts which are not properly listed by the debtor;
  • debts which the bankruptcy court specifically decides are not discharged; and
  • debts owed to certain pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, other retirement plans, or to the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees for certain types of loans from these plans.

 

Potential Delay or Denial of Discharge


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 requirement for items marked with an asterisk (*) may be satisfied using Local Form LF 12-37.
 

Credit Rating & Reports


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.