Chapter 7/13 Minimum and Additional Requirements

Effective March 1, 2009 - any person wishing to file a bankruptcy petition or adversary proceeding without an attorney (pro se), must appear in the Clerk’s office and provide identification, or the filer must have a power of attorney authorizing them to file on behalf of another person. Please read the following notice for more information.

Notice to Debtors Filing Bankruptcy Petition without an attorney (pro se Debtors)

Minimum Requirements for Filing Chapter 7 & 13 Cases

The following requirements must be met in order to file a petition for bankruptcy relief and obtain a discharge in bankruptcy. Please note, these are the minimum requirements for filing a Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Case; additional requirements and their corresponding deadlines are detailed in the Additional Requirements section.

1. Petition

Complete a Voluntary Petition together with Exhibit D, both signed by the debtor(s). When filing a joint petition, i.e., where both husband and wife are debtors, each debtor must sign and submit Exhibit D.

“IMPORTANT PRIVACY INFORMATION: If you are filing any document with the Bankruptcy Court, other than Official Form B21 – Statement of Social Security, you are advised, for your own protection, to strictly follow Federal Bankruptcy Rule 9037 Privacy Protection For Filings Made with the Court, which says that certain personal information should be modified or redacted. Only the following information should appear in filings made with the Court:

(1) Social Security Numbers – list only the last four digits of the social-security number;
(2) Taxpayer-identification – list only the last four digits of the taxpayer identification number;
(3) Birth Dates – list only the year of the individuals birth;
(4) Names of minor children – list only the minor's initials; and
(5) Financial Account Numbers – list only the last four digits of the financial-account number.
Please note: it is the responsibility of the attorney or the party making the filing with the court to redact the personal information.”

2. Budget and Credit Counseling

Bankruptcy law requires that debtors complete budget and credit counseling before filing a petition. Unless you are exempt from budget and credit counseling (see details below), failure to obtain budget and credit counseling prior to filing your petition may result in dismissal of your case. Also note that each debtor in a joint petition must file a separate certificate of completion of budget and credit counseling. See Eligibility to be a Debtor for more information.

  • If you checked box #1 on Exhibit D, i.e., you have completed budget and credit counseling prior to filing the bankruptcy petition, and you have a certificate of completion of budget and credit counseling, attach the certificate and debt repayment plan, if any, to Exhibit D.

  • If you checked box #2 on Exhibit D, i.e., you have completed budget and credit counseling prior to filing the bankruptcy petition, but you do not have a certificate of completion of budget and credit counseling, you must file the certificate of completion within 14 days of filing the petition.

  • If you checked box #3 on Exhibit D, i.e., you were unable to complete budget and credit counseling prior to filing the bankruptcy petition, you must sign and file a Certificate of Exigent Circumstance which is a statement of facts, including:

    • the specific exigent circumstance
    • the date on which you attempted to obtain counseling
    • the reason why the counseling could not be obtained on that date
    • the following statement: “I hereby affirm or attest that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge and belief”

If the Certificate of Exigent Circumstance is deemed accepted, you will be allowed an additional 30 days to file your Certificate of Credit Counseling. If your Certificate of Exigent Circumstance is deficient, the matter may be scheduled for hearing.

  • If you checked box #4 on Exhibit D, i.e., you qualify for an exemption from the budget and credit counseling requirement due to mental incapacitation, physical disability, or you are on active military duty in a combat zone, you must file a Motion for Exemption from Credit Counseling with the Court. Failure to file either a Certificate of Credit Counseling, a Certificate of Exigent Circumstances or a Motion for Exemption from Credit Counseling will result in the issuance of a two-day notice to comply with the requirements before the case is dismissed.

3. Creditor List on Disk or CD

This is a list of all creditors with addresses saved to a floppy disk or CD. Click here for instructions for completing the Creditor List on disk or CD. If you do not have access to a computer at your home or library, you may come to the Clerk’s office and use a computer in the public area where instructions and floppy disks are available for your use.

4. Additional Forms

Read and sign Form B201, Notice to Individual Debtors Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 342(b).

Complete and sign Official Form B21, Statement of Social Security Number.

If you, the debtor(s), own or have possession of property that poses or is alleged to pose a threat of imminent and identifiable harm to the public health or safety, attach a completed Exhibit C to the petition.

5. Filing Fee

A filing fee of $306.00 for a Chapter 7 case or $281.00 for a Chapter 13 case must be paid at the time of filing. You may be eligible for paying the filing fee in installments, or, for Chapter 7 cases, a waiver of the Chapter 7 filing fee. For more information regarding paying in installments or applying for a waiver, including the requisite forms, please see the Payment Options page.

NOTE: The Clerk's office cannot accept a debtor's personal check or credit card.

6. Submit the Completed Petition

The completed petition should be submitted, either in person or by U.S. Mail, to the Clerk's office. There is currently no provision for pro se debtors to file electronically.

Additional Requirements for Chapter 7 & 13 Filing

In addition to the Minimum Requirements for filing a Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Case, the following requirements must be met by the deadlines mentioned.

1. Schedules and Statements

If you did not file all schedules and statements with your petition, they are due within 14 days of filing the petition. The following schedules and statements must be timely filed or your petition will be automatically dismissed thereafter:

  • Summary of Schedules and Statistical Summary of Certain Liabilitites and Related Data
  • Schedule A — Real Property
  • Schedule B — Personal Property
  • Schedule C — Property Claimed Exempt
  • Schedule D — Creditors Holding Secured Claims
  • Schedule E — Creditors Holding Unsecured Priority Claims
  • Schedule F — Creditors Holding Unsecured Non-priority Claims
  • Schedule G — Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
  • Schedule H — Codebtors
  • Schedule I — Current Income of Individual Debtor(s)
  • Schedule J — Current Expenditures of Individual Debtor(s)
  • Declaration Concerning Debtor's Schedules
  • Statement of Financial Affairs

If you filed a Chapter 7 petition, you must also complete Form B22A, Statement of Current Monthly Income & Means Test Calculation. See the United States Trustee's Means Testing page for more information. Also, please review the Means Test Checklist for more information on filling out this form.

If you filed a Chapter 13 petition, you must also complete Form B22C, Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income.

“IMPORTANT PRIVACY INFORMATION: If you are filing any document with the Bankruptcy Court, other than Official Form B21 – Statement of Social Security, you are advised, for your own protection, to strictly follow Federal Bankruptcy Rule 9037 Privacy Protection For Filings Made with the Court, which says that certain personal information should be modified or redacted. Only the following information should appear in filings made with the Court:

(1) Social Security Numbers – list only the last four digits of the social-security number;
(2) Taxpayer-identification – list only the last four digits of the taxpayer identification number;
(3) Birth Dates – list only the year of the individuals birth;
(4) Names of minor children – list only the minor's initials; and
(5) Financial Account Numbers – list only the last four digits of the financial-account number.
Please note: it is the responsibility of the attorney or the party making the filing with the court to redact the personal information.”

2. Chapter 13 Plan

If you filed a Chapter 13 petition, you must file the Chapter 13 Agreement and Chapter 13 Plan within 14 days of filing the petition using Local Form V and Form W.

3. Payment Advices

Within 14 days after filing you must file copies of Payment Advices for the previous 60 days of employment with the Clerks Office. These may consist of pay stubs; social security statements, or an affidavit signed by you under the penalty of perjury that no income was received.

Important: redact (cross out) all but the last four digits of your Social Security Number or financial account number(s) that may appear on payment advices before filing them with the Court!

4. Tax Returns

No later than 7 days before the § 341 Meeting of Creditors, you must deliver copies of your most recent federal income tax return to the case trustee.

NOTE: The name and address of your case trustee and the date, time, and location of your meeting of creditors will be mailed to you by the Clerk's office within 5 days of the filing of the petition. Failure to provide copies of tax return to your case trustee in a timely manner may result in dismissal of your case.

5. Chapter 7 Statement of Intention

Within 30 days of filing the petition or before the first date set for the meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 case, whichever is earlier, you must file with the court the Chapter 7 Individual Debtor's Statement of Intention regarding debts secured by property of the estate [11 U.S.C. § 521 (a)(2)] and serve a copy of the statement on the creditors listed in the statement and on the case trustee on or before filing the statement [NM IBR 1007 (b)(2)].

6. Personal Financial Management Course

Within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 case and no later than the last payment made by the debtor as required by the plan or the filing of a motion for entry of discharge under § 1328 (b) in a Chapter 13 case, you must (1) complete an instructional course in personal financial management and (2) file with the court Form B 23 Debtor's Certification of Completion of Postpetition Instructional Course in Personal Financial Management, with the certificate of completion attached to the form. [11 U.S.C. § 727 (a)(11). See the list of approved courses on personal financial management.

Failure to complete the instructional course in personal financial management and file Form B 23 will prevent entry of discharge in your case and may result in dismissal of your case. Each debtor in a joint petition must file a separate Form B 23.

NOTE: If an order has been entered granting your motion for exemption from the requirement due to mental incapacitation, physical disability, or active military duty in a combat zone, file Form B 23 with the order attached, as soon as you receive a copy of the court order.