Note: The bankruptcy forms located on the U.S. Trustee Program site are examples of data enabled forms. While they were meant for vendor informational use, some courts may link to these forms as acceptable fill-able forms. Please consult the appropriate U.S. Bankruptcy Court to verify use of these forms. In addition, current copies of bankruptcy forms for filing purposes can be found on the U.S. Court's site at: http://www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html.
The Data Enabled Forms Standard was released by the AOUSC in September 2005. Click on the following to view the announcement letter: [PDF - 356 KB]
In addition to the issuance of the above technical standard, appropriate committees of the Judicial Conference are considering a bankruptcy CM/ECF technical standard that would mandate the use of data enabled bankruptcy forms in electronically filed bankruptcy cases, with certain exceptions. Thus every form vendor will have to address the issues of data enabled forms. The written comments on the policy change to make data enabled forms mandatory were included in the information submitted to the Judicial Conference committees in late 2006. Any additional written e-mail comments should be submitted to: John_Brinkema@ao.uscourts.gov and Monique.Bourque@usdoj.gov with a copy to Richard_Goodier@ao.uscourts.gov.
Regarding the complexity of implementing data enabled forms, the AOUSC, as mentioned, is open to suggestions and is currently considering a proposal submitted by EZ-Filing, described here:
The proposal offers an alternative method of associating data with a PDF form. XML markup of the data would be embedded the PDF document. The vendor's form software process would be identical to what is done now (i.e. fields expanded or repeated as needed, generating an ordinary PDF document). After the PDF document of the form is created, a final process would create an XML document and then that XML would be inserted in the PDF document.
EZ-Filing proposed that the XML be inserted into the PDF document as the data associated with a single data field; that is, the PDF document would be an AcroForm with a single data entry field with the value of the field being the XML. The AOUSC has proposed a slightly different way to insert XML in the PDF document: as metadata. This method builds on EZ-Filing's proposal but instead the data are inserted in the PDF document as XMP metadata. XMP is a widely accepted Adobe standard for metadata. XMP is a stylized XML built around the W3CRDF standard. With RDF, it is easy to add separate metadata clusters without worrying about what tags are already there and accidentally bumping into one another. Each method has its pros and cons.
The XML schema would be based on the form-field tag set that we have already produced as well as the schema that EZ-Filing provided in its proposal. There are some technical issues such as ordering of XML tags that will need to be addressed, but much of the work appears to have been done.
We look forward to working together to perfect this solution and the standards that this solution will be based on.U.S. Court Bankruptcy Forms
Sample Data Enabled Forms
Draft “Data Enabled” or “Smart” Bankruptcy Forms Package
» Important Notices
Data Enabled Forms Standard Distribution Email List:
If you would like to be added to or removed from the DEFS email distribution list, please email your preference along with your full name and organization to USTWeb.
If you are having trouble viewing these PDF files, try the following: