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Necessary documents for a Chapter 7 filing

So you've decided that you're going to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate your debt and get a fresh start. What types of documents do you need to file with the bankruptcy court? Below are a few things they'll need to go along with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition:

1. Your current income statement. The court needs to know how much you make consistently, whether you're a salaried worker, an hourly worker, a contract worker or something else entirely.

2. A list of your expenses. This can include things like buying food for your family, paying the electric bill, and the like. It will be balanced out against your income.

3. A list of your liabilities and your assets. Don't try to hide any assets to make it look like your liabilities are more significant.

4. Paperwork regarding your unexpired leases, your executory contracts, and your general financial affairs.5. All necessary tax returns. This includes the last tax return before you filed for bankruptcy. Depending on how long the case takes and when you file, you may have to provide more tax returns as the process plays out.

The court is just trying to quickly learn everything there is to know about your true financial state. This information can help to show if you are eligible for bankruptcy, what assets can be liquidated to pay the creditors and more. Providing accurate and complete information is important if the case is going to be successful, so make sure you know exactly what the court needs at every step in the process.

Source: United States Courts, "Chapter 7 - Bankruptcy Basics," accessed Nov. 23, 2016

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