Checklist: Documents To Show To Your Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy is not a simple matter with minor consequences. Rather, it may involve complex dealings with bankruptcy court and creditors. It could also have a major impact on your daily life. Filing for bankruptcy can affect your credit and property. Naturally, this is a stressful situation that you never envision yourself being in. The situation can be made easier by making the proper choices such as hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney and collecting and organizing your financial data.
When faced with credit problems and potential bankruptcy, hiring an attorney might be the answer to getting your financial life back on track. If you're planning to contact an attorney, use the checklist below to gather the documents that the attorney will need to see to provide you with the best advice and representation. Oftentimes, people do not know where to start and what to do. This checklist will be a useful proactive tool so you can begin collecting and organizing the proper paperwork.
Your financial records are some of the first documents you should collect. These records will help determine which type of bankruptcy is best suited for you. For example, your financial documents can show you have regular income, meaning your best fit may be Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This may have huge implications because Chapter 13 will allow you to keep possession of your property and pay your debts over time.
- Most recent bank statements
- Most recent bills from every creditor
- Most recent payment coupons for vehicles (lease or purchase), real estate, and student loans
- Bills or invoices for purchases in the last year
Any legal history or pending litigation involving you is information you'll want to disclose to your attorney. Previous judgments against you show debts that will factor in to determining which bankruptcy is right according to your financial situation. In addition, any pending litigation or current court order will determine how much you can afford to pay your creditors at this time.
- Files from previous litigation, including especially any judgments that have been entered against you
- Files from previous attorneys
- Any divorce decree or other court order that requires you to pay child support or maintenance
The following list below is a combination of assets you own and verification of your income. A proper, thorough organization of your assets is extremely important to show you have a set income level. This income determination can be essential in proving you can repay your debts over a period of time or in proving a lack of income.
- Canceled Checks for any expense you cannot otherwise document
- ALL your correspondence with or regarding creditors, especially threat letter
- ALL insurance policies
- Tax returns for the last three years
- Vehicle titles
- Your lease or mortgage
- Any promissory notes you have signed
- Other documents relating to debts you owe other people
- Any proof that anyone owes you money
- Any lawsuits with which you have been served
- Attorney Intake Questionnaire: Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney
- Get Legal Help with Bankruptcy or Debt
- Bankruptcy & Debt: Forms and Resources