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521 Documents - Part 9 of 12


A 12-part Series On All You Need To Know About The Process of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Part Nine – 521 Documents

After filing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition a hearing date is set, called a meeting of creditors (This is discussed in another blog). Part of this hearing is to allow the Bankruptcy Trustee to verify the information in your petition. To do that certain documents will be submitted to the Trustee prior to the hearing. These documents are commonly called “521 documents”.

A debtor should always assume that everything in their petition will have to be verified. Expect that at the very minimum you will have to provide:

  • social security card
  • three months of paycheck stubs
  • three months of bank statements, and
  • two years of filed Federal tax returns.

It is very common for the Bankruptcy Trustee to ask for additional documents. Which include:

  • retirement, pension, and investment account statements
  • profit and loss statements (if you own a business)
  • up-to-date mortgage and vehicle loan billings
  • proof of the value of your vehicle or other property
  • copies of any lawsuits filed against the debtor
  • copies of any lawsuits where the debtor is a Plaintiff
  • a divorce decree or settlement, and
  • receipts proving that you've incurred claimed expenses.

Bankruptcy Trustees usually have a particular way in which these documents are provided. Within a week or so after filing bankruptcy an email will be sent by the trustee explaining what the trustee wants and how to provide the requested documents. These documents will be reviewed by the Bankruptcy Trustee and will be discussed at the meeting of creditors, especially if there is any discrepancy. If these documents are not provided, then the meeting of creditors will likely be continued to allow time to send the documents and if that doesn’t work the bankruptcy will probably be dismissed.

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