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What Documents Do I Need To Provide Prior To Filing?

When you are in a financially bad position and have no other option, a bankruptcy filing may be the next line of action for you. Consulting lawyers for bankruptcy may initially seem like a hard choice to make, however, when you consider the harassment calls and collection efforts mounted by your creditors, you may have a change of heart. If you have decided on bankruptcy filing to help in discharging your debt, some documents are essential for finalizing the process. Having an idea of the needed documents can help you to plan better for what is to come.


Document Checklist For Your Bankruptcy Filing


For your bankruptcy filing, below are the needed documents you will be required to produce;


– Basic personal information

– Tax returns

– Income documentation

– Real estate information and documents

– Detailed and updated bank statements

– Vehicle titles and records

– Credit or debit records

– Alimony and/or child support verification

– Proof of credit counseling, and

– List of assets


How Bankruptcy Lawyers Help


Pursuing a bankruptcy process on your own can be complex and complicated. Having an attorney in your corner can help you to simplify the process while also guiding you through the potential legal minefield. Your bankruptcy attorney will help to determine which of the bankruptcy options is best for you as well as how to process the petition such that it is free from mistakes that can cost you time and money. With bankruptcy being a difficult process, your attorney can help to speed up the process such that it is completed in a matter of months.


Basic Personal Information


Documenting who you are is an important part of seeking bankruptcy. Providing correct information will help with the processing stage. You will be required to provide information like your full name, age, social security number, and others. You will also be required to show proof of identification when you meet with the trustee.


Income Documentation

Whether you are filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to provide documentation of your income. This documentation will be used to categorize whether the petitioner falls below or at the median income level. People who earn above the median income may be unable to file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy except in a few cases. Petitioners will be required to provide pay stubs for the last six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. The petitioner will also be required to provide their last two w-2 forms. For self-employed persons, a copy of their profit and loss statement for the last six months prior to bankruptcy filing will be required. Those with other types of income including disability, social security, or investment income will also be required to provide detailed information about their earnings and from those income sources.


Tax Returns


In most cases, at least two years of tax returns are requested by bankruptcy trustees. Some applicants may be required to provide more as tax returns can be used to verify the petitioner’s income.


Real Estate


Depending on the state’s laws, you may be able to exempt certain properties or part of your housing equity from the process. However, to be sure, you should speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your state.