There are several documents you will need to properly file your Bankruptcy Petition. These documents are necessary to make sure your Petition contains complete information, to make sure you qualify to file Chapter 7, and to make sure your real estate, vehicles, and personal property are protected from the Chapter 7 Trustee, who can seize and liquidate your unexempted possessions to pay your creditors. Also, you will be required to provide many of these documents to the Chapter 7 Trustee prior to your 341 Meeting of Creditors. These documents are:
- Six months of paycheck stubs
- Six months of bank statements
- Federal tax returns for the last two years
- Real estate Deed and Mortgage(s)
- Motor vehicle title(s)
- Current investment and retirement statements
- Current mortgage and car loan statements
- Home and car valuations (printouts from online sources work)
- Property list with values (you can group small items, such as clothing, cookware or bedding)
- Credit card, collection, other billing statements, and a current credit report
- Driver’s license and Social Security card
- Credit counseling completion certificate
Six Months of Paycheck Stubs
Evidence of your income during the six months prior to filing your Bankruptcy Petition is required so that your attorney can determine if you qualify for filing a Chapter 7. Your income must be below your state’s median income, and you must show that your income and expenses do not leave disposable income for you to pay unsecured creditors. They must also be provided to the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Six Months of Bank Statements
Evidence of your money in checking and savings accounts during the six months prior to filing your Bankruptcy Petition is required so that your attorney can assure that there is no unexempted funds in those accounts that may be seized by the Chapter 7 Trustee to pay your creditors. Bank statements are also evidence that verifies your income.
Federal Tax Returns for the Last Two Years
These are used to verify that all your income was disclosed on your Bankruptcy Petition, and that nothing was left out. They must also be provided to the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Real estate Deed and Mortgage(s)
Your attorney will need to see these in order to verify who owns the property, and whether there is unexempted equity for the Chapter 7 Trustee to seize, who can sell your property if it is unprotected. They must also be provided to the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Motor vehicle title(s)
Your attorney needs to see these to verify who owns the vehicles, and whether there is unexempted equity for the Chapter 7 Trustee to seize, who can sell your vehicles if they are unprotected. They must also be provided to the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Current Investment and Retirement Statements
Evidence of your retirement accounts is required so that your attorney can verify that these funds will be protected from the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Current Mortgage and Car Loan Statements
These make sure your mortgage and vehicle payments are properly entered on your Bankruptcy Petition Schedule D as secured creditors and on Schedule J as expenses.
Home and Car Valuations
These can be done using various online sources and printed out in hard copy format. Equity in your home and vehicles is protected up to a certain amount by applying state and/or federal exemptions in your Bankruptcy Petition. It’s imperative for your attorney to know the actual value of your home and vehicles in order to verify that they will be protected from being taken and sold by the Chapter 7 Trustee.
Personal Property List With Values
Your list should include a single value for each type of your personal property. These categories include clothing, electronics, jewelry, household goods and furnishings (furniture, appliances, cookware, etc.), animals and livestock other than ordinary pets, and anything else of monetary value. In making your calculations of what your personal property is worth, use dollar amounts of what you would likely get if you were to sell them at a yard sale or to a pawn shop. For example, even if you paid $50 for a single article of clothing, you would likely be able to sell it at a yard sale for only a few cents. Your personal property has state and/or federal bankruptcy exemptions available to protect them.
Credit Card, Collection, Other Billing Statements, Current Credit Report
Your attorney uses these to make sure that all of your creditors are listed in your Bankruptcy Petition in the Schedules D, E, and F, and the Creditor Matrix.
Driver’s License and Social Security Card
You will be required to produce identification and proof of Social Security number when you attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors. Provide copies of these to your attorney.
Credit Counseling Completion Certificate
You must obtain this certificate before you file bankruptcy. You complete this by taking a credit counseling session from a “debt relief agency” that is approved by the Department of Justice. The session costs around $50 and takes about an hour and a half. After you complete this counseling session, you will receive a credit counseling certificate that is valid for six months, and is required before you can file bankruptcy.
Contact Starks Law Debt Defense Attorneys to Learn More About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief
If you need debt relief or have questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, contact us at Starks Law P.C. for a free consultation with an attorney. We listen to the needs and goals of every client and create a legal strategy tailored to that person and their case. We do not believe in the 'one size fits all' legal strategy employed by other firms. Every case is unique, and we plan accordingly.
Representation from Starks Law begins with a simple phone call. We will review the circumstances surrounding your unique situation. After assessing the details, we will form an action plan tailored specifically for your case and goals. Additionally, we will do our best to answer any questions you may have so that you can make a fully informed decision on how to proceed. Take advantage of our Creditor Lawsuit Defense services.