Whether you plan to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to file a considerable amount of paperwork. If you miss even one of the required forms when you file your petition, the court will issue a Deficiency Notice. At that point, you’ll have 14 days to submit the required documents — longer if you successfully file an extension — or your bankruptcy case will be dismissed.
If you’re in a real financial pinch and bankruptcy is the only way out, you cannot afford to have your case dismissed. It’s critical that you file the proper documents at the appropriate times to ensure your case moves forward. That’s where an experienced bankruptcy attorney comes in.
Below, Ron Lundquist, Attorney at Law shares a brief overview of the documents and forms you need to file for bankruptcy successfully.
Documentation: What You Need to Complete Your Bankruptcy Forms
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need several documents that prove specific details about your current financial situation. The exact evidence you’ll need to supply will depend on what your bankruptcy trustee requires and the particulars of your case.
While there are slight variations between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 documentation (your bankruptcy attorney will fill you in), here’s what you’ll most likely need to supply:
● Tax returns. You’ll need copies of your tax returns or transcripts for the last two years in a Chapter 7 case. In a Chapter 13 case, you’ll need four years of returns.
● Proof of income. If you’re a W-2 employee, you’ll need six months' worth of paystubs prior to the bankruptcy, as well as your last two W-2 forms. If you’re self-employed, you’ll likely need to provide profit and loss forms for the two years prior to your bankruptcy filing. Be prepared to supply business bank statements too.
● Real estate documents. If you own property, you’ll need to supply proof of the property’s fair market value. You’ll also need to furnish mortgage statements that show payment amounts and remaining loan balances. You may also need proof of home insurance and the deed of trust.
● Vehicle information. If you own a vehicle, you’ll need to supply proof of its value. If you have a vehicle loan, you’ll also need to provide a recent loan statement that shows the remaining balance on the loan and your monthly payment amount. Your trustee may also require proof of insurance and registration.
● Account statements. If you have retirement accounts, you’ll need to supply those statements. You’ll also need to supply statements for all your bank accounts.
● Valid identification. You’ll need to provide a photo ID along with proof of your social security number when you attend your hearing with your bankruptcy trustee.
● Miscellaneous documents. If you have an unusual expense or you pay child support or alimony, you’ll need to supply proof of those expenses. Your attorney can fill you in on any other documents you’ll need to file your bankruptcy forms.
● Creditor Documentation. Statements, credit reports, lawsuit documents, collection notices.
Bankruptcy Forms: What You Need to File
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documentation proving your income, assets, and expenses, you’ll use the information contained in those documents to complete your bankruptcy forms. These include:
● Local bankruptcy forms (these aren’t always required — your attorney will inform you if they are)
● Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
● Government-issued photo ID. Driver’s license or state ID
● Schedule A/B. Property
● Schedule C. Exempt property
● Schedule D. Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured by Property
● Schedule E/F. Creditors With Unsecured Claims
● Schedule G. Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
● Schedule H. Codebtors (if applicable)
● Schedule I. Income
● Schedule J. Expenses
● Summary of assets and liabilities
● Credit counseling certificate
● Statement about your social security number
● Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing Bankruptcy
● Statement of Current Monthly Income
● Means test calculation (if you’re filing for Chapter 7 and your income is above your state’s median)
● Calculation of disposable income (if you’re filing Chapter 13)
For further details on the required forms for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including a full breakdown of what each form is for, check out the Official Bankruptcy Forms Resources Page at mnb.uscourts.gov.
Schedule a Free Bankruptcy Consultation Today
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy to get a fresh start, working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is the best way to ensure you conduct the process properly. Contact the Minnesota Bankruptcy Law Center today to schedule a free consultation with Ron Lundquist, Attorney at Law, to discuss your bankruptcy options.
You can also call our Eagan, MN office at 651-454-0007 or send us a message online to request more information.