What documents do you need to file for bankruptcy?

At the height of the Great Recession, many Minnesota residents filed for bankruptcy. Those numbers went down in recent years, but 2018 saw an increase from the previous year. According to data from the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Minnesota, 9,761 people filed for bankruptcy in 2018, which is a 1.54 percent increase from 2017. 

Many Minnesota residents rely on bankruptcy to get their finances back on order. However, it is still a daunting process. The first thing you should do if you need to consider bankruptcy is to get all the paperwork in order. Gather the following documents before seeing your attorney. 

Bank and other financial statements

You will need to present your bank statements to show how much you have in savings. You also want anything related to your fiscal future, such as pensions, 401ks, IRAs and other retirement accounts. You need to be upfront with any account that has money in it. 

Income documentation

You need to provide pay stubs to show how much you earn each month. You need both net and gross income even if you are an independent contractor. You also need to provide documentation for any other sources of income, such as from a rental property. 

Tax documents

You need to prove you have filed taxes for the last two years before proceeding any further. This is the case whether you plan on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 


The court requires you to show what essential expenses you have. You will need to point out in your bank statements how much you spend each month on rent, utilities, food and other essentials. You may need to cut down on superfluous expenses until the bankruptcy is final.

Real estate and vehicles

If you own a house or a car, then you need documentation showing the value of the item. This can include mortgage statements and proof of value. 

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