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Major Overhaul to Bankruptcy Forms – Effective December 1, 2015

December 1, 2015 Changes

Most Official Bankruptcy Forms were replaced on December 1, 2015, with substantially revised, reformatted, and renumbered versions.  The 2015 forms are part of a forms modernization project that was begun by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 2008.  Among other things, the 2015 forms introduce different versions of case opening forms for individual debtors and non-individual debtors.  Links to the instruction booklets for individual debtors, for non-individual debtors, and to a forms number conversion chart can be found below.

The revised forms are easier for debtors to understand and complete, and are designed to work with scheduled enhancements to the federal courts’ case opening and electronic case management system.

Virtually all director’s bankruptcy forms were also replaced by updated and renumbered versions on December 1, 2015.  The new forms are available at Bankruptcy Forms.

Instructions for Individual Debtors (pdf)

Instructions for Non-Individual Debtors (pdf)

Forms Number Conversion Chart (pdf)

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U.S. Retail Sales Since 1992

RetailMay2014_0This graph shows retail sales since 1992 through May 2014. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline). On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 0.3% from April to May (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 4.3% from May 2013.

The consensus is for retail sales to increase 0.6% in June, and to increase 0.5% ex-autos.

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Officials Decry Companies That Offer Help With Student Loans As Predatory; Student Loans Bankruptcy Discharge

student_debt_bankruptcyStudent loans are almost impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.  Nonetheless, debt settlement companies, which offer to help borrowers lower their monthly loan payments for a hefty upfront fee, have long been fraught with problems, as federal and state regulators are spotting new instances of abuse as the companies shift away from their traditional targets — credit card and mortgage debt — to zero in on student loans, the New York Times reported today. Illinois today is expected to become the first state to bring legal action against debt settlement companies in connection with their student loan practices, contending in two separate lawsuits that Broadsword Student Advantage and First American Tax Defense duped vulnerable borrowers into paying for help that never arrived. In her suit against the companies and their operators, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan contends that the businesses lured borrowers into paying hundreds of dollars upfront, and in the case of Broadsword, $49.99 a month after that, according to copies of the lawsuits. The companies often misled customers about those fees, according to the suits, and in some instances feigned affiliation with federal relief programs.  Read the full story here.