Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Document Checklist

Using a checklist can help organize the documents you’ll need in a Chapter 7 case.

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must disclose all aspects of your financial affairs and prove the accuracy of the information provided. The checklist below will help you assemble the documents you’ll need at every stage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Learn more about what to expect in The Bankruptcy Process: Chapter 7.

Documents You’ll Need to Complete Chapter 7 Forms

The average Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is approximately 50 pages in length, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll need a lot of information to complete the required forms. Being organized will help you complete the bankruptcy forms efficiently.

Here are some of the documents you’ll need to get 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 www.annualcreditreport.com)
  • your Driver’s license and Social Security card
  • a credit counseling completion certificate

If you plan to hire a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, bring copies to the initial consultation. Not only will doing so help the lawyer assess your case but getting documents from clients can be challenging. Showing up prepared will make you a more desirable client.

You’ll find a list of the required official bankruptcy forms and instructions for finding them in Free Bankruptcy forms.

Chapter 7 Documents Needed After Filing

The court will want verification that the information provided in your petition is accurate and that you attended the required post-filing educational course. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

In many courts, you’ll send these documents to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee appointed to oversee your case. They’ll be due 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.

  • 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. Late submitters, or those with complicated cases, tend to be set later in the hour.
  • Avoid a continuance. Issues can arise in bankruptcy and most resolve with minimal effort. If the trustee spots an issue that can be taken care of before the 341 meeting, you’ll avoid a continuance and prevent unnecessary delay.

Important note: In some states, a debtor must file paycheck stubs with the court along with the bankruptcy paperwork. You can find out by reviewing the local court rules located on the court’s website or by calling the court clerk. Find your court using the Court Locator tool.

Additional Documents for the Chapter 7 Trustee

You also must provide the trustee with any documentation reasonably necessary to investigate your filing. For instance, your trustee might want the following items:

  • 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

If the trustee asks for additional documents at the 341 meeting of creditors, the trustee will likely continue the meeting to allow enough time to review them. Many trustees will cancel the new date after receiving acceptable documentation.

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Need professional help? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ?

Get debt relief now.

We've helped 205 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you