As part of a modernization effort that began in 2008 that is being spearheaded by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, most official bankruptcy forms are being replaced with revised, reformatted and renumbered versions, effective December 1, 2015.
The new forms, which include new versions of case opening forms for individual and non-individual debtors, will apply to cases pending on and after December 1st. There are also new instruction booklets available for individual and non-individual debtors. The purpose of the new instructions is to help debtors better understand the process, and why certain information is being requested on the forms.
A number of the new, modernized forms are already in effect, and will simply be renumbered. A new form numbering system is intended to better organize official forms. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has a forms numbering conversion chart available here. Forms in the 100’s are case-opening forms for individual debtors, 200’s are case-opening forms for non-individual debtors, 300’s are court notices and orders, and 400’s are later filed documents, including proof of claim forms.
While the new forms are to be used as of December 1st, use of the old forms may be excused during the transition period, particularly if any error is corrected in a timely fashion. While it should not be relied upon for relief, and the proper form should always be used, Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 5005 does provide that “[t]he clerk shall not refuse to accept for filing any petition or other paper presented for the purpose of filing solely because it is not presented in proper form as required by these rules or any local rules or practices.”