Gather your documents

Produced by Attorney Mariah Jennings-Rampsi for MassLegalHelp
Created October 2016

This is a checklist of documents you need before you file the Bankruptcy Forms.

After you file, you will also need to give some of these to the Bankruptcy Trustee.

Go through the list now and start gathering the documents you need.

Some documents may not apply to you. For example, maybe you do not file income tax returns. Or, you may not own real estate. If an item does not apply to you, write “N/A” in the blank. Do not leave any blank lines.

If a document does apply to you, get a copy of it.

  • Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years.
  • Any documents for real property that you own. This includes a house or land. You will need to get copies of your deed, declaration of homestead and any mortgages on your property. If you do not have these documents, get them at the Registry of Deeds.
  • Any documents for a vehicle or boat you own, that you bought with a car loan.
  • Any documents for a vehicle that you still own, sold or had repossessed within the past four years.
  • If you borrowed money from someone and told them they could have something you own if you do not repay them, then you need a copy of the agreement.
  • Copies of vehicle titles. This includes any trailers and motorized vehicles.
  • Documents for a mobile home. If you do not have copies of these documents, check with the Registry of Deeds.
  • Proof of any life insurance you may have.
  • Documents for any retirement or pension plans you may have.
  • Copies of the 3 most recent months’ bank and investment account statements.
  • Copies of any stocks or bonds you own.
  • Copies of business documents if you have operated any kind of business within the past six years.
  • A copy of any divorce decree or marital property settlement within the past two years.
  • Copies of loan applications you have applied for in the past two years and you still owe. You do not need copies of credit cards applications.

You need to gather a lot of documents!

Put all the documents together in a safe place.You will need them to fill out your Bankruptcy Forms.

Filing without a lawyer

  • Bankruptcy is complicated. Filing without a lawyer is risky.
  • You can lose property and money. You can go to jail if you do not tell the truth.

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