Documents Required to File Bankruptcy


documents-required-to-file-bankruptcyThe documents required to file bankruptcy are usually not too difficult to obtain. If you are getting ready to file bankruptcy, start gathering together the documents your bankruptcy attorney will need to draft and file your case.

You will sign your bankruptcy filing under penalty of perjury. Your bankruptcy attorney must make reasonable inquiry into all your information. As a bankruptcy attorney in Washington, D.C., I give each client a personalized list of documents required to file bankruptcy.

Documents Required to File Bankruptcy

At the beginning of your case, the following are documents required to file bankruptcy. These documents assist us in filing a full disclosure of your debts and assets and income and expenses.

Not all of these documents will be applicable to your case. Other documents not listed may be required.

These are the minimum documents required under the Bankruptcy Code:

  • State and federal income tax returns for the last three (3) years
  • Six (6) months’ proof of income from all sources
  • Current credit report
  • Any previous bankruptcy filings
  • Certification of completion of credit counseling
  • Copies of the latest creditor statement for each creditor
  • Loan documents and/or contracts securing creditors’ interest in collateral, including car loans
  • Divorce settlements, separation agreements, or child support orders
  • Six (6) months of bank statements for all checking/savings accounts
  • Deeds, closing documents and mortgage statements for any real estate, including timeshares
  • Copies of your driver’s license (or photo ID) and social security card
  • Leases, and correspondence or documents relating to eviction
  • Documentation of all pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and any other retirement accounts
  • Policy documents for any cash-value life insurance policies
  • Documents relating to any potential or pending personal injury claims or other litigation
  • Documentation supporting any out-of-the-ordinary expenses

Many of these items do not apply in most of my cases. While this list may seem daunting at first, for most people it should not take more than a couple of hours. The bankruptcy client’s hard work is always up-front. Your bankruptcy attorney’s work starts once you deliver the required documents. Remember to try to make copies instead of providing original documents.

About Brian V. Lee 566 Articles
Brian V. Lee provides bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, business turnaround, and litigation services to clients in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. Brian was the Washington, D.C. state chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys from 2016 to 2018.