What Do I Need To Be Able To File For Bankruptcy Or To Consult With An Attorney?
Generally at an initial consultation for bankruptcy, it is not necessary to bring all your financial papers. However, if you choose to move forward with legal representation with an attorney you will need to gather some documentation about your finances so your attorney can complete the necessary paperwork to file for bankruptcy. So it is a good idea to do some bankruptcy prep work.
Bankruptcy Prep Work
To begin the bankruptcy process it is best if you are able to itemize your current income sources; major financial transactions for the last two years; monthly living expenses; debts (secured and unsecured); and property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate). You should also collect your tax returns for the last two years, deeds to any real estate you own, your car(s) titles, and the documents for any loans you may have.
The documents listed below will give you an idea of what type of information to gather for your attorney. It is important to note that each case if different, therefore it is best to ask your attorney if there are any specific documents they need you to gather.
A list of your current personal property and its value. This includes assets like:
- Checking & savings accounts
- Pension or profit sharing accounts
- Household goods, furniture, electronics, computer equipment
- Deposits with utility companies, landlords, banks, etc.
- Vehicles, trailers, ATVs, boats, etc.
- Mobile homes, campers, etc.
- Firearms, sporting equipment, etc.
- Interest in insurance policies
- Stocks, business interests, government or corporate bonds
- Money owed to you, including tax refunds
- Alimony, maintenance, support or property settlements to which you are entitled
A list of real property, or real estate, including your interest in property, the current value of the property and the amount of any security owed on that property. It is also important to note any co-owners of the property as well.
A list of all of your creditors, the amounts that you owe them, any security on those accounts. It is important to let your attorney know if any of these creditors are moving for foreclosure or repossession on secured property. Failure to disclose this important can result in the loss of options latter down the road.
A list of any current or unexpired leases. These need to be disclosed regardless of whether you own the property and are renting it out or you are the person renting the property.
You also need to give your attorney the name and address of your employer, your occupation, and length of your employment. A list of your income sources, including your employer and other types of income. A list of current monthly expenses and a list of payments made to creditors in the past 90 days.
Some people depending on their specific circumstances will need to provide information concerning, however this information is only necessary if it applies to your circumstances:
- Any lawsuits or administrative proceedings that you were a party to in the year preceding
- A description of any property that has been seized, garnished, attached, repossessed, foreclosed or returned in the preceding year
- A list of any property that has been assigned for the benefit of creditors in the 210 days preceding
- Any gifts or charitable contributions made in the preceding year
- Losses from fire, theft, casualty or gambling in the preceding year
- Payments related to debt counseling or bankruptcy in the preceding year
- Any property transferred during the 2 years immediately preceding filing
- A list of any financial accounts closed, sold, or transferred within the preceding year
- A list of safe deposit boxes, along with locations and contents held in the preceding year
- A list of any set-offs by any creditor in the past 90 days
- All the address at which you have lived during the past 3 preceding years
- Nature, name, and location of any businesses owned during the past 6 years
Collecting this information can be very time consuming as most people do not have these records readily available. Therefore, knowing what bankruptcy prep work is recommended, if you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy it is a good idea to begin collecting this information. This will allow you to get relief quicker and will allow your attorney to provide you with more information at your initial consultation.
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy or want to learn more about filing for bankruptcy, call us at (859) 209-2101.