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The Law Office of Adam R. Weaver, Esq. Lehighton & Carbon County Bankruptcy Attorney

Documents You Need for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing


If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, one of the best options is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called “liquidation bankruptcy,” the bankruptcy trustee liquidates your non-exempt assets to repay creditors. In return, your qualifying unsecured debts, such as medical bills, credit card balances, and personal loans, are discharged.  A vast majority of debtors who file chapter 7 are fully exempt cases and no assets are liquidated through exemption planning with your attorney.

Preparing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition requires extensive financial information. You must present enough documentation about your financial situation to show that you cannot repay the debts you seek to discharge or that your assets are not of greater value than you may claim as exemptions. This article shares some of the essential documents needed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.

Documents Needed to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It is crucial that you present thorough and accurate documents to the bankruptcy court. Presenting complete and accurate documentation maximizes debt discharge. It increases your chances of obtaining a discharge of all your qualifying debts. If you don’t provide accurate and complete documents, you may not receive as much debt relief as you are eligible to receive. Failing to provide a comprehensive overview of your financial situation could even lead to your bankruptcy petition being dismissed. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the documents you need for your bankruptcy filing. They can help you gather these documents.

The following are some of the commonly required documents in Chapter 7 bankruptcy;

Tax Returns

When filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will usually need to provide copies of your tax returns for the last two years. If you have unfiled returns, you will need to explain why. Usually, a short letter will work.

Income Documentation

Chapter 7 bankruptcy requests that you provide documentation of your income. This is necessary for assessing your financial situation. If you are employed, you will need to present copies of your pay stubs for the last six months, your last two W-2s and proof of other income sources, such as Social Security funds.

Asset Documentation

You must provide accurate and complete documentation of your assets. This might include bank statements, history of electronic financial transactions such as through Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle, real estate deeds, retirement account statements, life insurance policy statements, and vehicle titles.  If you own Real Property, then you will need to provide a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”) or Appraisal done within the past year to support the valuation of your Property.

List of Debts

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must prepare a detailed list of all your debts. This might include medical bills, credit card statements, and loan documents.

List of Creditors

You will also need to list your creditors’ names and addresses.

Credit Counseling Certificate

Before filing for bankruptcy, you are required to complete a credit counseling course. When filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, ensure you provide proof of completion of this course.

Additional documents the bankruptcy trustee may request from you include the following;

  • Profit and loss statements and proof of liability insurance (if you own a business)
  • A divorce order or marital settlement agreement
  • Valuations of rare, antique, or collectible items
  • Additional paycheck stubs and financial statements
  • Life Insurance Declaration Pages

DISCLAIMER: The above is not a complete list of the documents you need for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You should speak to a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area to find out the exact documents you need for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Contact a Lehighton & Carbon County Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Our qualified Lehighton & Carbon County bankruptcy attorney at Adam R. Weaver, Esq., can help you understand the documents you need for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We can help you prepare for a successful bankruptcy filing.

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