Most people do not take bankruptcy lightly. If you are in a position where bankruptcy is a viable choice, it’s important to have the correct information and documentation.
This guide will provide you with a list that includes all the items necessary for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 to make sure you are as prepared as possible.
The Core Documents for Chapter 7 and 13
No matter which chapter you choose, certain documents are required.
- Social Security Card This card is used to verify your identity and Social Security number. It is essential for the proceeding.
- Photo Id: Driver’s License or Passport issued by the state will do. Other forms of photo ID may be accepted by some courts.
- Tax returns: You will generally need your most recent two tax years. Some courts will ask for more depending on the situation.
- Prove Your Income: Gather your pay stubs and unemployment benefits statements. If you are self-employed you can also collect profit-and-loss statements, as well as any other income that you received in the past six months.
- Bank Statements You should collect your bank statements from all accounts (checking, savings and investment) for the last two to three months.
- Property Value: To determine the market value of your real estate, you will need to have professional appraisals or recent tax assessments.
- Vehicle Appraisal: Find out the Kelley Blue Book or professional value of your car or truck.
- Personal Property Inventory: Make a list of all your personal property, including furniture, appliances, electronics and jewelry. Include their estimated value.
Information on Debt and Liability
- Credit report : Your comprehensive credit report includes all of your debts including any that you may have forgotten. Be sure to obtain reports from the three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- List Of Creditors Prepare a detailed list of all the institutions or individuals to whom you are owed money. Include their addresses and amount due.
- Legal judgments or lawsuits Include any documentation related to pending or finished lawsuits, wage garnishments and liens on your property.
Bankruptcy Petition: How to File
Your case is built around the bankruptcy petition. This form is a comprehensive summary of your financial situation.
No matter what type of bankruptcy you have, this form must be filled out carefully. You can use the information and documents you have gathered.
The bankruptcy process is complex and involves a multitude of documents and details. Preparation can make the bankruptcy process easier and can even influence the outcome.
This guide is a good starting point but a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will provide you with personalized advice that’s tailored to your specific needs.
This post was written by Trey Wright, a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Jacksonville FL! Trey is one of the founding partners of Bruner Wright, P.A. Attorneys at Law, specializing in bankruptcy law, estate planning, and business litigation.
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