Form 271, or Final Decree, is used by courts in the United States when cases about bankruptcy take place. This form is brief and simple, only one-page long, and debtors receive it as a release in court when their case is closed, and their estate is fully administered. By this form, the trustee who was responsible for the obligor’s estate can also be discharged.
Regardless of the bankruptcy case (Chapter 7 case, Chapter 11 case, Chapter 12 case, and Chapter 13 case are the most popular types), Form 271 is a final legal record that finishes the case. Chapters refer to the Bankruptcy Code’s chapters.
The difference between the above-mentioned types is in the commitment of the obligor to cover their debts. Chapter 7 case does not oblige the debtor to provide any plans of repaying to their creditors, while Chapter 13, for example, requires such actions. More details about various bankruptcy types and rules can be found in the Bankruptcy Code.
While plenty of people think their bankruptcy cases terminate when they are discharged, in fact, the final point is either a final decree or an order issued by the court.
The form is not filled out by debtors; it is the court’s decision to close the case and to issue the document. So, typically, court clerks complete the template, and a judge verifies it with their signature.
Court workers may use the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (or Fed. R. Bankr. P.). Both sources’ provisions state that if the debtor’s property is fully administered and the trustee was discharged, the case must be closed, and to close the case, the court should issue a final decree.
For more details, clerks may check Section 350, Subsection “A” of the Bankruptcy Code; Fed. R. Bankr. P., 5009; and Fed. R. Bankr. P., 3022.
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If you want to get the idea of how the 271 Form is filled out, we have added the instructions here. They also might be useful for court personnel, especially workers who have just started their careers.
Of course, you can visit the official United States Courts’ website and look for the template there. But why doing that if you are already here? Generate the 271 Form (or Final Decree) using our form-building software: it is extremely easy to use.
In the first blank lines the clerk sees on the page, they have to insert the court’s location (district).
The court clerk has to write the debtor’s full name and then insert their SSN (or social security number’s) last four digits. If the debtor has EID (or Employer’s Tax Identification), the clerk must include it as well, below the inserted SSN.
Each case in court has its number for simple identification. The following step is adding the specific case number in the relevant blank line (on the right-hand side).
If the required deposit has been distributed to the lenders, the clerk marks the suitable blank box.
There are three options that the court clerk may mark in the following section:
If the trustee responsible for estate managing in the case is discharged with this final decree, the clerk shall mark this option and add the trustee’s full name.
By final decrees, bankruptcy cases are usually closed; so, the clerk will tick this option and state the case’s type (Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and so on).
If the clerk wants to enter additional provisions, they can do it here. If not, the field can be left blank.
The 271 Form should be dated. The clerk must put the date of signing in the designated line.
The form must be signed by the judge. After the template is finished, the clerk will ask the judge to verify the record by signing it. The judge also can date the document instead of the clerk.
There is a tiny statement with additional instructions below the signature and date. According to them, the clerk should write all names used by the debtor in the last eight years (both individual and business names). Besides, if the debt is joint, the social security numbers of all obligors must be included in the form.