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Fillable PDF Forms Must Be Flattened Before Filing - Here's How To Do It

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Most Official Bankruptcy Forms and several local forms are available in a fillable PDF format.  The advantage of using a fillable form is that it can be filled-in electronically and printed, saved or automatically sent by email.  Additionally, you can rest assured your electronic form will look and print exactly as it should across various computer platforms.  Conversely, a disadvantage of using a fillable form is that it remains fillable unless it is "flattened" to remove the interactive features.  What this means is that images, text boxes and other fields become integrated into the PDF.  Flattening prevents other users from manipulating or editing the form information, especially if the form is electronically filed in CM/ECF.  ALL electronically filed interactive forms must be “flattened” to ensure that the they do not contain fillable/modifiable fields. 

How to “flatten” a fillable PDF file.

Using Adobe Acrobat, follow the steps below to "flatten" a fillable PDF form:

  1. Select File, then select Print 
  2. Change the Printer name to Adobe PDF by clicking on the drop down arrow and selecting Adobe PDF
  3. Click Print
  4. Specify desired location and file name to save document, then select SAVE
  5. The "flattened" PDF may now be electronically filed in CM/ECF


December 2017