Bankruptcy: Challenges Faced & Documents Needs
Let’s hash out a couple of scenarios.
You’re facing a difficult financial predicament.
It could be one of the following:
- Wage garnishment has been put in place with your employer
- You’ve learned about a pending lawsuit filed against you
- You’re late on your mortgage and your house is in foreclosure
- You’re late on your rent and an eviction notice has been served
- A levy has been placed on your bank account and a creditor is retrieving past due funds
- You’re late on your car payment and fear repossession is imminent
Regardless of your unique situation (which may include any number of challenges not mentioned above), your lawyer (if he or she is worth their salt) isn’t going to pass judgment on you. People fall on hard times. It’s a part of life. Moving forward is what’s important and finding the path that will best suit your situation…
If you are thinking about hiring an attorney, you’re already taking the first step. An experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer will help you determine which bankruptcy chapter is the right one for you. Navigating this piece of the puzzle is often the most confusing (read about the differences between Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy here), so, the lawyers of Shaines and McEachern are here to help. That said, in order to be best served you should anticipate the information and/or documents which we will need in order to efficiently administer your case and maximize the ability to deliver the best possible result for you.
Consider the following questions (you’ll be asked them, so why not be prepared?):
- What is your marital status?
- Do you have children?
- What’s your annual income (if you’re married, what is your spouse’s annual income)?
- What kind of debt do you owe (secured [e.g. mortgages or car loans] or unsecured [e.g. credit cards or medical bills])?
- How far behind are you (if at all) on your secured debts?
- Are you caught up on your taxes?
- Do you pay alimony / child support?
- Are you aware of any judgements a creditor has against you?
- What assets do you possess?
- What’s the worth of those assets?
- Have you purchased property recently?
- Have you transferred property recently?
- Why are you filing for bankruptcy? What’s your intended goal?
Now that the questions are “on the table,” it’s time to consider the documents you’ll need to demonstrate your circumstances, prove your capacity, and pursue your financial recovery. In short, a bankruptcy filing cannot be properly prepared and administered without a full understanding of your financial circumstances. Having the necessary documentation available will be of invaluable assistance to your attorney. It’s best to have your documents compiled as early as possible to make the process proceed smoothly and efficiently.
Consider/collect the following items:
- Copy of driver’s license
- Copy of social security card
- The last two years of completed (and filed) tax returns
- 3 months of bank statements and 6 months of pay stubs
- 6 months of credit card statements
- Profit and loss worksheets (for the self-employed / small business owner)
- A copy of your mortgage(s) statement(s)
- A copy of your vehicle loan(s) statement(s)
- Copies of any life insurance policies you may be carrying
- Any applicable foreclosure related forms
- Investment and/or retirement statements
- Any applicable marital settlement information (for divorcees)
This is not a comprehensive list of documents that your attorney might request. Each case is different so the documents needed vary from case to case. This list provides some preliminary ideas to get a jump on things. Once we have met and had an in-depth discussion about your individual situation we can guide you to gather all of the items we’ll need to process your case and begin to set you on a path to a better future.
Contact Peter Doyle and the Shaines & McEachern bankruptcy team today! We’re a friendly bunch that would love to help assist you in any way we possibly can. With over five-decades of service, we know how to get you the result you’re looking for with relative ease.