Consumer Law Pro

Preparing for Bankruptcy: Required Documents

Sources of income:

You must document all sources of your income for the seven calendar months prior to the month the bankruptcy case is filed. If you file in July, you will need all your paystubs from January 1st through June 30th as well as any paystubs you may have received in July. For example, if you file July 20th and are paid on a bi-weekly basis, you will need your first paystub from July.

If you do not receive paystubs from an employer, you must provide some form of documentation to substantiate your income. If you are a 1099 contractor, bank statements or copies of payment checks will suffice. If you are self-employed, at the very least you must provide profit and loss statements and copies of all business and personal bank statements. Additional documentation may apply depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you work for a ride-share company, you must provide a print-out of all your rides for the last six months.

Additionally, you must provide your last two years of state and federal tax returns.  

Creditors:

Your credit reports will suffice only if they include all your creditors. If all your debts are made-up of credit cards and personal loans, your reports should include all the information necessary to complete the creditor portion of your bankruptcy petition (schedule F). You or your attorney may retrieve a free copy of your credit reports from annualcreditreport.com. If you previously pulled your credit reports in the last year and didn’t save them or need to pull them again, your attorney should have access to a paid service for pulling the reports.

Some creditors do not report to the credit agencies. This is true for many medical providers. In such cases, you will need to provide collection letters and/or invoices. If you do not have documentation of your debts, you must contact the creditor and obtain the following information: name of creditor, balance, account number, date incurred, nature of the debt.

If you have auto loans and/or mortgage loans, you must provide a copy of your most recent statement and the maturity date for each loan.

Payments to creditors:

Review your payment history to creditors for the last 90 days and be prepared to provide this information to your attorney. If you repaid any friends or family (insiders) over $600 in the last two years, your attorney will advise how to proceed.

Court Documents:

You must advise your attorney whether you were involved in any court proceedings either as a defendant or plaintiff. If you do not have copies of these court documents, your attorney can access them through the Colorado Court’s E-filing system.

Expenses:

You must accurately disclose all your expenses including monthly expenses (e.g. rent, car payments) and non-monthly expenses such as auto tag renewals, medical co-pays, household maintenance/upkeep costs, clothing, and personal care. Often the best way to do this is to review your bank statements for the last six to twelve months.  

Assets:

You must provide a complete list of all your assets including: furniture, appliances, electronics, stocks, bonds, collectibles, jewelry, sporting gear, automobiles, recreational vehicles, real estate, vacant land, and non-tangible property such as interest in oil and gas, business interests, and retirement plans. Your list of tangible assets should include an approximate value and date of purchase, the condition, and made and model if applicable.

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