"Dance Moms" star Abby Lee Miller just emerged from bankruptcy ... but the real news is that she went belly up in the first place.
Miller -- a dance instructor who owns a studio in Pittsburgh -- filed for bankruptcy Dec. 3, 2010 ... according to legal docs obtained by TMZ. She claimed assets of about $325K ... but owed more than $400,000.
The bulk of her debt -- a $245K mortgage that went into default and the $106K debt on her dance studio.
According to docs, Miller got into financial trouble after she fell behind in real estate taxes ... her property was teetering on foreclosure. She also claimed customer interest in her studio had waned.
But her fortunes began to improve shortly after she filed ... as she started earning money from "Dance Moms" which debuted in July, 2011.
Miller spent three years digging herself out of the hole ... and her case was officially discharged on New Year's Eve. Her lawyer tells TMZ all creditors were paid in full.
Fun Fact ... Under assets Miller listed her beloved dog, Broadway Baby -- and attached a value of zero. She really loved that dog.
And then it died.