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What documentation should I gather before filing bankruptcy?

When you complete your bankruptcy paperwork, it is critical that you ensure you include all the information about your finances. It is essential that everything in the documents is completely correct and 100% complete.

The US Courts explains that if you leave anything out of your bankruptcy petition, it could be grounds for the court to dismiss your case. If that happens, then you must refile from the beginning.


The bulk of your bankruptcy petition will be the details of your finances. You must give information about all debts you owe and all assets you have. You also need to give details about your monthly budget and everyday expenses. It is vital to include every single asset, expense, and income detail. If you forget a debt, then it will not be a part of your bankruptcy. If you leave out income details, then you could face a dismissal of your case.

Other documents

The court will also need to see your most recent tax returns. If you file near the tax deadline in April, you may need to provide your taxes to the trustee once you file them. If you are self-employed, the court may ask for several years of tax returns to serve as proof of your income.

All filers must complete credit counseling. You will take a course at the beginning and near the end. You must provide the court with proof you completed these courses.

If you have a spouse, you must provide his or her information as well, even if your spouse is not filing with you. Being completely transparent with the court is the only way you can ensure you do not misstep and end up with a dismissed case.


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