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