Bankruptcy is a severe process that you would need to put a lot of contemplation, but once you decide to go with this route it is best idea to get prepared for filing bankruptcy forms correctly. It would make the process easier if you have a list of your assets and debts in advance. Here are few tips to completing the forms to save time and energy.
Get your forms typed
It could be different depending on the state, but most courts prefer that your bankruptcy forms be typed, not handwritten. Manual or automatic typewriter was popular about a decade ago, but nowadays almost everyone has personal computer, therefore it became easier to fill out the form using computer. Ask your local court they accept a handwritten bankruptcy forms, or if they have other options you can choose such as online filing. There are forms online that you can fill out using computer and send it via electronic filing.
Know your Local Court
It is common that every bankruptcy court has its own rules and regulations as wells as way of handling things. Therefore it is best for you to ask your local court's preferences as it might change over a period of time. You can always call or write to the local court when you need more information to make things clear. It is always better to ask than assume.
As technology develops in all area, you may find that your local court will require you to submit the original copy of the petition only one time. Nowadays many courts are moving toward digital record of cases instead of paper ones. At some courts, they will scan your original documents and keep them in the permanent storage, creating multiple electronic copies at a later time. It is all possible due to technology innovation. In that case, you will only have to follow your local court's directions.
Know your local court's requirements and follow its rules and guidelines. Also be ready to make changes to your petition when you're filling out forms, so that you meet their requirements.
Answer questions to your best
Try not to leave any questions unanswered, but fill out as best as you can. Most of bankruptcy forms have a check box where it specifies "none" as an answer. If you still can't find it, just put "N/A" as not applicable indication.
The trustee might assume that you didn't complete the bankruptcy forms in case you leave any sections blank. If the question is not clear or doesn't apply to your situation, then put "N/A" in the first blank, and it will be much clearer than leave it empty.
Disclose everything whenever possible
If you have trouble categorizing a debt or asset on a form, do the best you can and make a note next to your entry that you're uncertain.
If you are having a hard time how to categorize a debt or asset, do your best to fill out the forms. When in doubt, put down a note stating that you are not certain on that specific items or questions. That way your trustee will be able to sort through those unclear items and put them in an appropriate place later. Try not to leave things out just because you don't know the answer right away.
Be honest and careful
When you fill out bankruptcy forms, it is better to oversupply information rather than leave them with many questionable empty spots. Even if it looks repeating multiple times in your documents, information is always welcome to trustee's eyes. The more information you provide in the form, the less will your trustee doubt, suspect and question about your documents.
If you have anything that you fail to disclose upfront, it will make your case dismissed in worst case. Be careful when you put down the lists of all of your assets, because it is very important process and you can't get lazy about it even if you become tired.
If you don't take your paperwork seriously it will increase the chance of dismissing your case in the end. At the same time, you would run the risk of losing your assets if you fail to get them listed completely in the forms, which you could have kept if you were more careful.
Make use of continuation pages
When you run out of room on a particular page while filling out forms, you can simply create continuation page of your own by adding another page of the same style. You can make copy of the page you want using original copy of the form you are filling. Make sure that you write down your name on top of all the pages of the entire bankruptcy forms and make a note that it is a continuation page if you choose to use it.