If you apply for bankruptcy protection in the United States, you will may feel overwhelmed or discouraged by a request for paperwork. Whether you file under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13, you will need to begin gathering financial statements and filling out paperwork that allows the firm to get a sense of your total assets.
As a bankruptcy law firm in Ohio, we want to make sure that the process is as streamlined as possible. Much of what we do in our Columbus based bankruptcy attorney practice involves ensuring our clients complete and file the requisite documents with the proper federal court officials by the appropriate deadlines. To help accomplish this, we have prepared versions of the following lists to keep them on track. What Not to Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy?
Documents to Bring to Your First Meeting with a Bankruptcy Attorney
U.S. law offers different forms of bankruptcy to meet the varied needs of individuals and corporations. Deciding which type of bankruptcy protection you qualify for requires going through all of the following:
- Your current bank balance and last month of transactions
- Bills from all current creditors, including rent or mortgage
- Credit card statements
- Your lease or mortgage agreement
- Vehicle titles
- All insurance policies
- Current statements for all retirement/pension accounts
- Documents for all existing loans, including those given by individuals
- Balances due on vehicles
- Tax returns for the past three years
- A month of business receipts (if applicable)
- Records for any court judgments and government liens against you
- Information about any spousal and child support you pay or receive
- Proof of debts owed to you
- Correspondence with creditors, including requests for relief and collection notices
- Files from other bankruptcy lawyers with whom you have worked
Documents You Need to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is generally available to individuals, married couples, and sole proprietorships—that is, one-person businesses. Generally, the most important documentation needed when filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy would be proof of income and most recent tax return. The court sets income limitations for individuals filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, sending in pay stubs and tax returns is a quick and efficient way of proving your income is below a certain dollar figure. If a client has a home or car, it will be necessary to send over title information for both, but those documents vary depending on what the client has.
Documents You Need to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Individuals and married couples with jobs or reasonable monthly income from other sources can seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. A Chapter 13 is driven in most situations by one of three things. The people you owe, the income you have, or the things you own. Verifying what these things are is pivotal in completing a successful Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Similar to a Chapter 7, providing pay stubs and tax returns is essential. Further, finding out if you have a car loan or a mortgage that is in default will guide how the case will be filed. Finally, the value of the things you own can have an impact on your Chapter 13.
The Calig Law Firm will help simplify this process and show you that once these necessary documents are gathered, the process can be very smooth and painless.
Derek M. Shaw of Calig Law in Columbus now applies his previous experience doing collections to helping residents of Ohio navigate personal and corporate bankruptcies.