If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you may be overwhelmed and feeling like this is the end of the world. Don’t panic! You are not alone in this process. Millions of Americans file for bankruptcy every year. Some for business reasons, some for financial hardships and other because an event such as a medical emergency cost them their savings. The world as you know it is NOT over despite what you are feeling. Think rather of this as a fresh start and a way to wipe the slate clean from whatever hardship you are facing.
Starting the process may seem overwhelming but there are a few things you should start to do that can make things easier. For example start collecting paperwork including:
- two most recent tax returns
- bank, retirement, and investment statements
- credit card, utility bill, and other debt statements, and
- paycheck stubs, or, if you run a business, profit and loss statements.
- a list of all your assets
A complete list of forms can be found on the U.S. Courts website depending upon whether you are filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or perhaps Chapter 11.
Once you have begun gathering required paperwork you will want to seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can guide you along the way and aid you in filling out the correct documents. This attorney will also be there with you to meet with the bankruptcy trustee and attend all court proceedings such as the meeting with creditors. The attorney will also be able to look at your income and assets and tell you whether you qualify for certain types of bankruptcies. For example, if your average income during the six months before you file is more than the median income for a family of your size in your state, you may not be allowed to use Chapter 7, depending on your income and debts.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy contact our office for expert legal advice. We can help you get start on your “fresh start” today.