Here is a quick synopsis of the types of documents you will need to file for bankruptcy and discharge your debts.
- Tax Returns – A copy of your last three year’s tax returns is needed. If you haven’t filed them, then you’ll very likely have to report that to the bankruptcy court and also provide valid reasons for not doing so. Filing those returns may be required before the current bankruptcy case continues. Consult with your attorney to discuss the past tax returns.
- Property/Asset paperwork– If you own assets such as property, vehicles, or any other significant assets that need to be considered, then it is very much important for you to have all the necessary documents to prove your ownership to them. For example, copies of your property’s valuation, vehicle registration, vehicle payment coupons, student loan booklets, and mortgage.
- Credit Card Information – Most recent bills from every creditor should be copied. Try to obtain copies of the most recent but also gather the last year’s worth of bills if possible.
- Divorce/Child Support Agreements – Bankruptcy attorney’s will need to be apprised of any and all court litigation involving you, your family and your assets. This includes divorce decrees and child or alimony agreements.
- Bank accounts – If you have bank accounts or life insurance policies and the like in your name, then a statement describing each such account will be required by the court. Anything which may provide a better understanding of your financial health during the bankruptcy proceeding must be revealed clearly and honestly.
- Pay stubs – If you’re a working professional, then you’ll be asked to submit a copy of all your pay stubs as proof of income. This is generally required for the last six months prior to filing of your bankruptcy petition. If you aren’t working, then you should have all the necessary proof of your most-recent source of income ready with you.
- Other documentation you will want to have access to: insurance policies, receipts, promissory notes, notes that people owe you money, etc
Valid ID – One item that you will need is proof of identification – A valid drivers license or photo ID and confirmation of your social security number. Examples of documents that may come in handy include your birth certificate, driver’s license or your social security number.
Consulting with and retaining the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney will enable you to easily course your way through this confusion of paperwork.