Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Document Checklist

Using a checklist can help organize the financial documents and forms needed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

By , Attorney · University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is more than 50 pages long, so it won't come as a surprise that preparing one requires a lot of financial information. But gathering information doesn't have to be miserable. Checklists can help you stay organized while searching your file cabinet, storage bin, or shoebox for the following:

  • documents needed to complete the Chapter 7 petition
  • documents produced after filing for Chapter 7, and
  • other items needed during a Chapter 7 case.

Also, if you haven't filed yet, take a moment to learn how bankruptcy works and what you should know about bankruptcy. And find out why you need a bankruptcy lawyer when filing your case—our quick, 10-question quiz can help you spot potential bankruptcy issues fast.

Documents Needed To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Here are the primary documents needed to complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms and get a Chapter 7 case started:

  • six months of paycheck stubs
  • six months of bank statements
  • tax returns (the last two years)
  • current investment and retirement statements
  • current mortgage and car loan statements
  • home and car valuations (printouts from online sources work)
  • property list with values (you can group small items, such as clothing, cookware, or bedding)
  • repair estimates for damaged property (photographs can also be helpful)
  • credit card, collection, and other billing statements
  • a current credit report (a free copy is available at
  • your Driver's license and Social Security card
  • a credit counseling completion certificate

Bring copies to the initial consultation if you plan to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Not only will it help the lawyer assess your case but getting documents from clients can be challenging, and showing up prepared will make you a more desirable client.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms

You'll use the documents you've assembled to complete a 50- to 60-page bankruptcy packet you'll file with your local bankruptcy court. Your packet will include a completed credit counseling course certificate. You'll also pay a filing fee or submit a fee waiver or installment payment request.

You'll find free fillable, downloadable bankruptcy forms on the U.S. Courts bankruptcy forms webpage. Here are the bankruptcy forms you'll need when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • B 101 Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
  • B 105 Involuntary Petition Against an Individual
  • B 106 Decl Declaration About an Individual Debtor's Schedules
  • B 106 Sum A Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information
  • B 106A/B Schedule A/B: Property
  • B 106C Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
  • B 106D Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured By Property
  • B 106E/F Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
  • B 106G Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
  • B 106H Schedule H: Your Codebtors
  • B 106I Schedule I: Your Income
  • B 106J Schedule J: Your Expenses
  • B 107 Your Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
  • B 121 Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers
  • B 108 Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
  • B 122A-1 Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income
  • B 122A-1Supp Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2) (not always used)
  • B 122A-2 Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (not always used)

You'll also include a list of your creditors' names and addresses. Check the local rules on your court's website for format requirements.

Most Chapter 7 filers don't use these forms, but they're needed on occasion. For instance, we list the bankruptcy forms you'll use to request a fee waiver or installment payments here. Also, one of these forms could pertain to you if your landlord recently started the eviction process or if your spouse lives in a separate household.

  • B 101A Initial Statement About an Eviction Judgment Against You
  • B 101B Statement About Payment of an Eviction Judgment Against You
  • B 103A Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments
  • B 103B Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived
  • B 106J-2 Schedule J-2: Expenses for Separate Household of Debtor 2
  • B 119 Bankruptcy Petition Preparer's Notice, Declaration and Signature

Learn more about completing bankruptcy forms.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Documents Needed After Filing

After filing, you'll produce documents verifying the accuracy of the petition information. You'll also file proof that you attended the second required course—the post-filing debtor education course. Here's your list:

These are the documents you'll need for the 341 meeting. You'll send them to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee appointed to oversee your case at least seven days before the date set for the 341 meeting of creditors—the one hearing that all filers must attend.

If you can, submit the forms earlier. Here's why.

  • You'll finish sooner. The trustee will schedule multiple debtors during the same hour. Some trustees reward people who submit documents early by hearing those cases first and setting late submitters and matters with complicated issues later in the hour.
  • You'll avoid a continuance. You can resolve most bankruptcy issues with minimal effort, so give the trustee your paperwork early. If you fix the problem before the 341 meeting you'll avoid a continuance.

Important: Some states require you to file verification documents with the court. Review the local rules on the court's website or call the court clerk. The Court Locator tool has contact information.

Additional Documents for the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

The trustee can ask for other documents reasonably necessary to investigate your filing. Here are a few items trustees routinely request:

  • additional paycheck stubs and financial statements
  • if you own a business, profit and loss statements and proof of liability insurance
  • photographs and valuations of rare, antique, or collectible items
  • mortgage and car loan statements showing the current amount owed
  • a marital settlement agreement or divorce order
  • any other documents reasonably related to your financial affairs

A trustee who continues the meeting to give you time to produce more documents will often cancel the new date after receiving them.

Navigating Your Bankruptcy Case

Bankruptcy is an unusual area of law because it's essentially a qualification process. The laws provide instructions for completing a 50- to 60-page bankruptcy petition, and because all rules apply in every case, you can't skip a step.

The forms and resources below will help you find more information. Also, you can use this list of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy forms to see where this topic falls.

More Bankruptcy Information

Bankruptcy Forms

You'll find fillable, downloadable bankruptcy forms on the U.S. Courts bankruptcy form webpage.

Related Information

What You Should Know About Filing for Bankruptcy

How Much Debt Do You Have to Have to File Bankruptcy?

Will I Lose All My Property If I File for Bankruptcy?

How Long Before Filing for Bankruptcy Are You Supposed to Stop Using Credit Cards?

Running Up Credit Card Debt Before Bankruptcy: Is It Fraud?

Need More Info?

We want to help you find the answers you need. Go to TheBankruptcySite for more easy-to-understand bankruptcy articles, or consider buying a self-help book like The New Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O'Neill.

We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by consulting with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

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