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What do I need to submit to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Since last week's post on the Mesa Bankruptcy Law Blog centered around an allegedly fraudulent filing of a bankruptcy petition, this week let's take a minute to look at what documents must be filed along with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition to ensure no mistakes are made that could lead to problems in the bankruptcy process.

The first thing you must do when filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 is file a petition in the bankruptcy court that serves the area you have domicile. Usually, with this petition you must also file a few schedules that show your current income and expenditures, assets and liabilities, executory contracts and unexpired leases, in addition to a statement of financial affairs.

This is not the end of the paperwork, though. In addition to a certificate demonstrating you have received credit counseling, you must also provide evidence of any payment from an employer if it was received in the last 60 days as well as a statement of monthly income and explanation regarding an expected increase in income or expenditures after filing. You must also let the bankruptcy trustee know if you have any interest in a federal or qualifying state education or tuition account. Tax returns or transcripts of the most recent year must also be handed in.

In addition to these statements and forms, you must also compile a list of all creditors and their claims, the source and frequency of income, all property owned by you, and a detailed list of monthly living expenses. There may also be additional forms required by the bankruptcy court.

There is little doubt that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the best way to restart your financial life, provided it is undertaken correctly. It may be possible to consult an experienced professional to help ensure all the paperwork is completed properly so that you can take a strong step towards your fresh financial start.

Source: United States Courts, "Chapter 13- Bankruptcy Basics," Accessed on May 25, 2015