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Bankruptcy Checklist: Documents to Gather Before You File

 Posted on May 10, 2022 in Bankruptcy

San Antonio Bankruptcy LawyerThe decision to file for bankruptcy is often not an easy one. This may be seen as a last resort for a person or family that is in dire financial straits. After making every effort to maintain financial stability, repay debts, and address other ongoing needs, a debtor may determine that bankruptcy is their best option for debt relief. Fortunately, the process of filing for bankruptcy does not have to be difficult, and by working with an experienced attorney, a debtor can provide the correct information and complete the required procedures to eliminate certain types of debts. Those who are preparing to file for bankruptcy will need to understand the different types of documents that they will need to provide, as well as any other information that will be required.

Financial Documentation and Related Bankruptcy Information

Proper planning is essential during the bankruptcy process, and by gathering all required documentation ahead of time, a debtor can ensure that they will be able to submit all of the proper forms at the right time while avoiding any complications that may delay their ability to discharge their debts. The following information will need to be provided when filing for bankruptcy:

  • Proof of income - The income earned by a debtor will be used to determine whether they pass the means test to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Documentation related to income may include pay stubs, W-2 forms, and tax returns for the past few years.

  • Bank statements and financial records - A debtor will need to provide documentation of the assets they own and the financial resources that are available to them. By providing bank statements for any checking or savings accounts, they can show how much money they have saved and how they use the funds in these accounts to pay ongoing expenses.

  • Retirement account statements - While retirement savings accounts and other retirement benefits are generally exempt from liquidation during bankruptcy, a debtor will still need to provide documentation of these assets.

  • Documentation of expenses - A debtor’s ongoing expenses may be considered during the bankruptcy means test. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, expenses will be considered when determining the amount of disposable income that is available to put toward a repayment plan. Copies of bills may be provided to demonstrate the ongoing payments a person makes. Documentation may also be provided for any other expenses, such as promissory notes for personal loans.

  • Court documents - If a debtor pays or receives child support or spousal support, they will need to provide a copy of their divorce decree or any other court order that specifies the amount of these payments.

  • Real estate records - The deed to a home owned by a debtor and mortgage paperwork showing the amount of their ongoing payments will need to be provided. This may be used to determine whether real estate property may be exempt from liquidation in a Chapter 7 case while also making sure ongoing mortgage payments will be considered when determining the debtor’s disposable income.

  • Vehicle records - The titles to any vehicles owned by a debtor and documentation of auto loans will need to be provided to determine whether these assets may be exempt from liquidation and ensure that ongoing loan payments are considered.

  • Documentation of other assets - A debtor will need to provide a complete list of all the assets they own. These documents will be used to determine what assets may be liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or whether certain assets will be exempt.

  • Proof of credit counseling - Debtors are required to take a credit counseling course before they file for bankruptcy. A certificate of completion for this course must be filed along with their bankruptcy petition. 

Contact Our New Braunfels Bankruptcy Petition Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can explain the requirements you will need to meet when filing for bankruptcy, and we will make sure you have provided all of the required documents or any other information that will be needed in your case. To learn how we can help you address your debts successfully, contact our Schertz bankruptcy attorney at 210-342-3400 and schedule a free consultation.



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