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Bankruptcy Disk has been discontinued.

            Law Disks published Bankruptcy Disk software for attorneys from 1991 to 2012. We regret to say that we discontinued Bankruptcy Disk as of January 1, 2013, for the reasons explained below. Our 2012 product does not contain the April 1, 2013 nor the December 1, 2013 changes to Official Bankruptcy forms, nor any later changes.

            A committee working for the United States Courts is proposing major revisions to the bankruptcy forms, with new forms for Schedules I, J and the Means Tests, which if approved, will be effective and mandatory on December 1, 2013.  In future years, more sweeping changes  will result from the “Forms Modernization Project,” which aims to replace, combine  and renumber all the bankruptcy forms. Watch out for Court Clerks rejecting bankruptcy petitions for having the wrong version date in the upper left hand corner!

Many of the ideas for the future seem misguided, .for example, only four creditors per page will be allowed on proposed future Schedule F, a feature which will greatly add to the number of pages attorneys need to print.  More pages and voluminous instructions will cause more consumer confusion, and  fewer consumers will fill out the longer forms.  

Frequent changes to the official forms impose a large burden on small software publishers, who must  reprogram our software each time there is a significant change in the forms.

The Forms Modernization Project will in the future likely require that the PDF petitions have invisible form fields, to make counting debt totals easier for Court statisticians. This technology is not possible in the way Bankruptcy Disk makes petitions. We used Microsoft Word, with the VBA programming language to automate filling-in the forms,  calculating totals, making lists. Then the user converts the Word file to Acrobat PDF, and files it through the Court’s ECF interface. When the Courts first required attorneys to file electronically, Court websites suggested converting Word files to PDF, which is what we have been doing for 22 years.

But the effect of the added costs of  requiring a particular hidden technology in the PDF files will be to drive smaller bankruptcy-forms publishers out of business, starting with us. With fewer publishers, the cost of bankruptcy software will rise, and fewer attorneys will practice bankruptcy law, since bankruptcy  software is a practical necessity.

What would the Founding Fathers say about making it impossible to file a federal bankruptcy suit without expensive software containing hidden form fields? Would John Marshall have rejected a petition which did not have the correct version date in the upper left corner, as some bankruptcy court clerks do?

Comments on these proposed changes were taken at:
http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/rules/rules-published-comment.pdf  and

WARNING: Some Official Forms changed as of December 1, 2013. There are form changes nearly every year. For current Official Forms, click here. For pending changes to Official forms click here for pending changes . Median Incomes change twice per year also. Watch for changes in the median incomes posted at http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/meanstesting.htm.

In discontinuing Bankruptcy Disk, we wish to give our loyal customers of the last 22 years sufficient lead time to investigate other software products.  Thank you for your support.

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