Once you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy, getting the required documentation in order can be overwhelming. There are several questions you will be asked when filling out your bankruptcy paperwork, and you will be asked to disclose ample amounts of information related to your financial positioning. Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or have a Chapter 13 matter, the documentation is the same. When going through a bankruptcy, you have to provide the following documents to the trustee and reveal additional information when completing the bankruptcy paperwork. This article will give you an overview of the documents that you will need when filing for bankruptcy.

Documents you will need when you file for bankruptcy

Tax Returns; Income Documentation like pay stubs or W-2 forms; Proof of Real Estate and Mortgage Statements; Vehicle information, Proof of Title, value, and insurance; Retirement and Bank Account Statements; Identification; and Other Documents.

Tax Returns

In a Chapter 7 case, you will generally need to provide copies of your tax returns for the preceding two years. Alternatively, if you are filing for a Chapter 13 matter, you will likely need to provide a tax return for the preceding 4 years. If you were exempt from filing one year for some reason, you need to provide documentation and an explanation of your specific circumstances.

Income Documentation

Depending on your employment situation, you will need to provide copies of your income. If you are an employee, you will need to provide your last two W-2s and copies of your pay stubs. If you are receiving social security benefits, you will need to provide proof of those benefits. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you will need to provide year-to-date profit and loss statements.

Proof of Real Estate and Mortgage

If you own any real property, you will need to provide the most up-to-date value of that property. There are different valuation tools that you can use, even online. You will also need to show your mortgage statements.

Vehicle Registration, Proof of Value, and Vehicle Insurance

You will need to provide proof of the value of the vehicles you own. It is commonly accepted to print out a valuation report from Kelly Blue Book or the like. Additionally, if you have a car loan, you will need a recent loan statement showing your remaining balance.

Retirement Accounts and Bank Account Statements

If you have a retirement account, you will need to provide an up-to-date statement of your retirement account showing the balance. Additionally, you will need to provide banking records for all bank accounts in your name.


You will need to provide a government-issued identification with a photograph. When you attend your bankruptcy hearing, the trustee will ask you to present your valid photo identification. You can provide a driver’s license, passport, or proof of your social security number.

Other Documents

In certain instances, if there is a reason that you are facing bankruptcy, such as child support, alimony, or an alternative situation, you will want to provide proof of the situation and its associated costs.

If you have any questions or are considering filing for bankruptcy, please fill out our free evaluation form to be contacted by a local experienced attorney to discuss the required documentation and the best options for your bankruptcy case.


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