What do I have to include when filing for bankruptcy?

The short answer – Everything!

But it’s going to be ok.  Including it in your filing doesn’t mean you can’t keep your stuff.


Assets | Do I have to include all of my property when filing bankruptcy?

We’ll start with what everyone is worried about. Keeping their stuff. You do need to list everything you own but including it in a bankruptcy does not mean losing it. Most people keep everything they have unless they want to get rid of it. Do you have a car you are upside down on that you don’t want to keep paying for? Surrender it. Want to keep it, but pay less for it? See if a cram down is available in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

On your bankruptcy forms, you will have to list all property you own and how much it’s worth. (You can group things together into categories, such as “household items” or “albums.”) Your property isn’t just the obvious items, such as real estate and automobiles. It’s all items that you own of any value, such as jewelry, furniture, books, collectables, guns (we all love our guns), and other household goods.

Once you have listed all of the items, you need to write down how much each item is worth by figuring out its replacement cost. Replacement cost is what you would have to pay to buy the same item, of a similar age and in similar condition. Your assets also include bank accounts, retirement accounts, and cash on hand. As money flows in and out of accounts, these numbers will change, but give the best estimate you have. Think of this as a snapshot of everything you have heading into bankruptcy.


Debts | Do I have to include all of my debts when I file bankruptcy?

You need to make a list of all your debts, whether you intend to repay them or not.  For every debt you have listed, you will need to include an account number, full contact information for the creditor, and how much you owe.

Basic Personal Information

 In addition to your name, your address, and your Social Security number, you’ll need to provide names you’ve used in the past eight years, your children’s ages, the name and address of your employers, and personal information about your spouse (if you have one).  


You’ll need proof of your income, such as paystubs or a statement from your employer, as well as your most recent tax return. You will need to actually submit your tax returns – last 2 years for Chapter 7 and last 4 years for Chapter 13. You will need to provide the last 6 months of paystubs. This is the 6 months before the month you file. So, if you file on July 25th, then you need to provide paystubs from January to June for that year. For your bankruptcy forms, you’ll need to supply information about your earnings from all sources for the past two years.  


You will need to list all of your monthly expenses as accurately as possible. This includes all of your regular monthly expenses, such as mortgage or rent, utilities, auto payments, insurance, groceries, and all household expenses. Don’t forget to include expenses that you may pay only once or twice a year, such as insurance, property taxes, or school expenses. If you own an automobile, include maintenance expenses, fuel, insurance, and repairs. If you do not own a vehicle, but commute everywhere, include travel expenses such as bus fares.  Include everything.

Financial Transactions

You’ll also need to provide information on certain transfers of money or property in the past couple of years, such as property or money you’ve given away or sold, debts you’ve paid off, bank accounts you’ve closed, and so on.  

If this is a little confusing, feel free to call, 501.891.6000, or set up a free consultation by clicking here.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.