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Documents required to file bankruptcy

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:35 pm
Filing for bankruptcy, unfortunately, involves a large amount of paperwork and some of it can be quite complex. If you need help, the bankruptcy court in your municipality can offer assistance, as can an attorney. The particular documents you must file will depend on the chapter of bankruptcy you select as well as your individual circumstances. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your creditors and debts, your assets and liabilities, and your current income and expenditures. You’ll also need to complete a statement regarding your financial affairs as well as determine which of your debts will be discharged and what property you want to claim as exempt under the Bankruptcy Code. The forms you must use to provide the court with all your financial information are provided by the clerk office of your bankruptcy court and can also be found in some legal stationary stores. All these documents together are commonly referred to as your “bankruptcy petition.” Ask the clerk office to provide you with a list of filing requirements, informing you of the order in which the documents should be assembled, the number of copies to file, the filing fee, and the time you have to file your petition. Be sure to be as accurate as possible when filling out your petition, as you’ll be signing it under penalty of perjury. When you or your attorney are done preparing your petition, you must file it with the bankruptcy court, together with the filing fee, either by mail or in person. If you can’t afford to pay the fee, you can go ahead and file without it, but you must apply to the court for permission to pay the filing fees in installments after the petition has been filed.
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