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Documents You Need to File for Bankruptcy

August 18, 2021
File For Bankruptcy

Once you decide to file bankruptcy, your bankruptcy lawyer will give you a form to fill out and a list of documents to gather. It might seem overwhelming when you first look at everything you need, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll find that it’s easier than you think. It is a time-consuming process, so take some time every day to work on it. Remember that your attorney cannot file the bankruptcy without all the information, except in emergency cases.

When is Bankruptcy an Emergency?

Suppose you are trying to stop a court action, such as home foreclosure, and the bank is ready to take your home in a few days. In that case, your attorney can file a petition with basic information. This will include your name, the type of bankruptcy you’re filing, and an estimate of your assets and liabilities.

However, once the attorney files the bankruptcy and the automatic stay stops the foreclosure process, you have very little time to produce all the documents needed to complete the bankruptcy schedules. To keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed, you should contemplate bankruptcy at least a month before any action the court might take to complete the foreclosure.

Required Documents

You can separate the documents you need into sections to make it easier. You will need:

  • iconIncome. This might include pay stubs, social security award letters, retirement statements, or profit and loss statements from your business.
  • iconTax returns. You will need a copy of the most recent tax return you filed.
  • iconHomes. For any homes that you own, you need your most recent mortgage statement. In some cases, you might need a copy of your deed. You will need to provide the most recent valuation of your home. You can hire an appraiser, or if you cannot afford that, you can look up your home on Zillow or the tax rolls. These are not as accurate as an appraisal, but they give your attorney a starting point. You will also need the most recent copy of your tax bill.
  • iconCreditors. List all of your creditors and provide the most recent statement from each creditor. If you have any accounts in collections, you should also offer the latest collection letters. You can find your creditors on your credit report if you did not save any statements. Creditors include credit card statements, doctors’ bills, car loan payments, your mortgage, and anyone else you owe money to.
  • iconA list of your assets and their value.

The laws have recently changed. You can now deduct up to $600,000 in equity. Meaning, you might be able to keep your home, even if it is in foreclosure. If you have enough income to file Chapter 13, you can pay any arrearages in payments, in most cases. However, you will have to keep your payments current from the time you file.

If you have financial problems, contact a bankruptcy attorney at SM Law Group, APC, for a consultation to learn more about your rights.

If you are looking for ways to get debt-free, don’t hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at to schedule your free consultation.

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