Bankruptcy Document Checklist

Gather your documents for bankruptcy

When you fill out your bankruptcy paperwork, you’ll be asked to disclose information regarding your financial affairs, such as your income and expenses, assets and debts, and property transfers. Also, you’ll need to provide certain documents to prove the accuracy of the information provided. Read on to learn more about the documents and information you’ll need to gather before filing for bankruptcy.

What documents do you need to file for bankruptcy?

The documents you’ll need are the same whether you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 matter, with slight variations. However, for exact documentation requirements, call our office at 866-460-1990. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you what you need for your specific case.

Below are the most commonly required documents in bankruptcy.

Tax returns

You’ll usually need to provide copies of your tax returns or tax transcripts for the last two years in a Chapter 7 case, and four years in a Chapter 13 matter. If you have unfiled returns because you weren’t required to file—for instance, your only income source was nontaxable disability benefits—you’ll need to explain why. A short letter of explanation will usually work.

Income documentation

If you’re an employee, you’ll need copies of pay stubs for the six-month period before the bankruptcy and your last two W-2s. You’ll also need proof of other income sources such as Social Security funds, disability, or rental properties.

If you’re self-employed and filing for bankruptcy, you’ll probably need to provide a year-to-date profit and loss statement, as well as for the two full years before filing. Also be prepared to present business bank statements to verify the profit and loss amounts.

Proof of real estate fair market value and mortgage statement

If you own real estate, you’ll likely need to provide proof of the property’s fair market value. You might choose an online valuation, a broker’s price opinion, or a full appraisal, depending on the potential amount of equity.

Also, plan to provide mortgage statements showing current loan balances and payment amounts. In some cases, you may be required to provide the deed of trust and proof of home insurance.

Vehicle registration, proof of value, and insurance

If you have a car, you’ll need to provide proof of its value. You can usually find an online printout from or

If you have a car loan, you’ll need a recent loan statement showing how much you owe and what your monthly payment is to prepare your paperwork. You might need to produce it along with copies of your registration and proof of insurance.

Retirement and bank account statements

Recent bank and retirement account statements must be provided for all accounts.


When you go to your hearing with your bankruptcy attorney, you will be asked to show valid photo identification such as a driver’s license and proof of your social security number.

Additional documents

If you have other circumstances affecting your bankruptcy, such as being required to pay alimony, child support, or another unusual expense, you’ll need to show proof of these costs. For instance, it’s common to provide a copy of a child support order. If you’ve divorced recently, you might need to produce an order or marital settlement agreement documenting a property distribution.

Have questions about your bankruptcy case? Call 866-460-1990

We’re here to help. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys understand how stressful filing for bankruptcy can be. If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy or regarding your current legal matter, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We can provide an in-office or virtual consultation so you know the facts. At a time like this, you need a partner you can trust, and we give you the best, most complete information to make informed decisions. Call us today — 866-460-1990.

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