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FAQ Consumer Bankruptcy: What Documents Do I Need to File

August 27, 2010

What Documents Do I Need to Give My Attorney In Order to File

Generally speaking,  an individual filing for bankruptcy needs to give his or her attorney the following documents:

1. Last two years’ federal tax returns

2. Credit counseling certificate (pre-bankruptcy)- your attorney will tell you how you can get this.  If credit counselor gave you a repayment plan, you will need to file this too with the Bankruptcy Court.  You will need to complete post-bankruptcy filing credit counseling too.

3. Pay stubs for the previous 60 days

4. Banking statements for the last two or three months (may vary locally)

5. Power of Attorney (so that your attorney can communicate with your lenders and other creditors on your behalf)

6. A recent credit report for your attorney.  Go to to get a free copy.  It is important that the info you file with the Court is consistent with your credit report.

7. Required local forms (your attorney will help fill these out).  These include but are not limited to a voluntary bankruptcy petition, a set of schedules listing your assets and liabilities, a statement of financial affairs setting forth detail re: your income and expenses and payments or transfers you have may made pre-petition.

When you list your assets, estimate the market value of your asset (valuation is a whole other bankruptcy blog topic and the subject matter of a presentation I am giving in September) and know the amount debt owed relating to that asset, if any (if the asset serves as collateral).

For liabilities, know the recent balance and the date that it was originally incurred.  You will need the account number for each debt and the address of each and every creditor that you have.  If the creditor is already working with an attorney, provide that contact info too.

For the income and expenses info, make sure you have a list of all the income received each month and how much of your money goes out each month as expense. If you intend to file a Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy, then you must first compare your average gross income during the six months prior to the bankruptcy filing to the median income for your state (giving due consideration to the number of dependents you have).  If your income is greater then the state’s median, you will be subjected to the “means test” and will have to fill out FORM 22A as well.  If you fail the test because you make too much disposable income, you will have to file a Chapter 13 case instead and you will be required to pay back certain debts over a 3 to 5 year period.

The more information you have put together, the less money you will have to pay that attorney/paralegal to figure it all out for you.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2012 8:27 pm

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