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US Courts hope to make bankruptcy forms more user-friendly

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The United States Courts announced Tuesday that it is seeking comment from the public on proposed updates to the bankruptcy forms used by individual debtors. These changes are the first proposed modernization of the forms in two decades.

"We recognized that the debtors filing as individuals may not have the assistance of a lawyer, and they may not be as sophisticated about finances as, for example, a large corporate debtor. Our goal was to make the official bankruptcy forms more user-friendly and less error-prone," said Oregon Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, who heads an ad hoc group of members drawn from the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules and representatives of bankruptcy-related groups.

The revised forms include the fee waiver and installment fee forms, income and expense forms, and the means test forms, which will replace previous forms. A goal is to present the forms in ordinary, conversational English with clearer instructions.

The public comment period closes Feb. 15.

More information on the revamped forms is available on the U.S. Courts’ website.

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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