When You File
**Attention Debtors! You must have completed credit counseling within the
180 days PRIOR to filing your petition**
Filing fee schedules are provided for your convenience. You may also use the Helpful Information for Self-Represented Parties flyer for a summary of required filing forms. In addition to these required documents and filing fees, the Court’s Local Bankruptcy Rules require you to file a Certificate of Service indicating that you mailed copies of a particular pleading to all appropriate parties. Please see Forms to obtain the necessary forms, schedules, and statements needed for filing. The Reference Library provides links to codes, rules, informational publications, and court procedures to assist you in completing the forms.
Please review these requirements carefully. Failure to file or fully complete required documents may have adverse effects on your rights (such as losing the right to file another case or losing certain protections in a later case). The Clerk’s Office will send out notices of deficiencies in some circumstances, but certain instances (like those in Local Bankruptcy Rule 1002-1) can result in immediate dismissal of a case.
IMPORTANT NOTICE OF REDACTION RESPONSIBILITY: All filers must redact: Social Security or taxpayer-identification numbers; dates of birth; names of minor children; and financial account numbers, in compliance with Federal Rule 9037. This requirement applies to all documents, including attachments.
Please remember to maintain copies of all documents you file with the Court for your personal record.
As of October 17, 2005, consumer debtors (i.e., non-business debtors) must overcome a presumption of abuse in order to be eligible for relief under Chapter 7. Debtors seeking to file Chapter 7 are required to complete a Form B22A (navigate to the form under Part I), entitled Statement of Currently Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation. If the Chapter 7 filing is determined to be presumptively abusive, the debtor may try to rebut the presumption by showing special circumstances. Unless the debtor overcomes the presumption of abuse, the Court may convert the case to Chapter 13 (with the debtor’s consent) or dismiss the case. See 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(1).
When completing Forms B22A or B22C for Chapter 13 (navigate to the appropriate form under Part I) you will need to reference information from the Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Information on completing these forms and access to the additional information needed can be found under the U.S. Trustee Program’s Means Testing page and the National Standards for Allowable Living Expenses page. Please also see the HHS Poverty Guidelines.
Notice to Individual Consumer Debtors
Under § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, a Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor (Form B201A under Part II) and the Certification of Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor(s) (Form B201B under Part II) has been issued regarding: (1) the services available to you from credit counseling services; (2) the purpose, benefits, and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings you may commence; and (3) information about bankruptcy crimes and the Attorney General’s right to examine all information you provide in connection with a bankruptcy case. This notice must be read, signed, and filed with the bankruptcy petition (or filed within 15 days of filing).
You are required to provide your most recent tax return or a tax transcript of your return to the U.S. Trustee at least seven days before your 341 Meeting of Creditors. You must also provide a copy of that return or transcript to any creditor that places a timely request for a copy. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(e)(2). If you fail to provide this information, the court will dismiss your bankruptcy case. See Local Bankruptcy Rule 1017-1. The procedure for requesting and obtaining access to tax information filed with the U.S. Trustee under 11 U.S.C. § 521(e) is available here.
If you do not have your tax records, you can get a copy from the IRS. You should request your records as early as possible. Requests can be made by fax, phone, or online, according to the contact information below. In person records are only provided in the case of an emergency. In lieu of a copy of your tax return, you may furnish a transcript of the return. There is no fee for a tax transcript; however, there is a $39.00 fee for a copy of an old tax return.
- Fax on Demand - Call 1-800-829-0922 from a fax machine. You will be asked questions to verify your identity and location. Stay on the line and wait for your transcripts to be faxed.
- Phone - Call 1-800-829-0922. You will be asked questions to verify your identity and filing status. You may request your transcript be faxed to you or your attorney.
- Internet - Go to www.irs.gov. You may download form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. This form will need to be printed out and mailed to the IRS. Wait time is approximately two weeks for delivery.
Creditor Mailing Matrix
The Creditor Mailing Matrix is a list of the names and addresses of creditors and parties in interest in a bankruptcy case that the debtor is required to complete. The master mailing matrix and any supplemental matrix must be dated and verified upon submission. See the Matrix Verification form. This information is used for giving notice to creditors and also for claims information when applicable. See Local Bankruptcy Rule 1007-1(d).
Where to File
Once your documentation is complete, you may either file in-person or by mailing your documents and filing fee(s) to the appropriate Courthouse. As stated above, you should maintain copies of all documents you file with the Court. If you would like a stamped copy of the filing for your records and you are filing in-person, please bring a duplicate copy of your paperwork when you file. If you would like a stamped copy and are mailing in your documents, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the documents you are filing (you do not need to include any duplicates).
Maryland has two bankruptcy court filing locations. Dependent on where you live, you will be required to file your case in a specific location. To determine where to file your case, click here.