Documents to Gather and Organize for Bankruptcy
If you are considering filing bankruptcy in the near future, it is important that you start preparing now. One of the keys to a successful bankruptcy filing is having all of the proper documentation gathered and organized prior to the date you intend to file your case. This will avoid delays in the filing and/or the granting of your discharge.
Below is a list of some of the documents you should start gathering:
1. Your paystubs. When you file bankruptcy you will need to provide up to 6 months worth of paystubs. So start saving them.
2. Bank Statements. Depending on what state you file in, you will need to produce 3 to 6 months worth on any and all bank accounts.
3. Collection Letters. Oftentimes your delinquent accounts will be sold to collection agencies. It is important that you save any letters that you receive from these agencies so that when you file your case, your attorney can notify these companies. If they are not notified, they have no way of knowing that you have filed bankruptcy and will continue to attempt to collect from you.
4 Gather copies of your 2 most recent tax returns. If you are not current with all your tax filings, you should get that taken care of. Failure to have all your tax returns filed will delay your bankruptcy. It is not necessary that you have paid all delinquent taxes, only that the tax returns have been filed.
5. If you own real estate, gather the deed and mortgage.
6. If you own automobiles, gather the titles, as well as your purchase agreements. If you have a loan on your car, the title should show the creditor as a lien holder.
7. If you have any secured debt with finance companies or other creditors, gather the papers relating to it. This is important because secured creditors are treated differently in bankruptcy.
8. Stop charging on your credit cards. Running up your credit cards shortly before filing bankruptcy can jeopardize your bankruptcy.
9. If you own a business, prepare a profit and loss statement for your business for the past 6 months.
10. Gather any legal papers like lawsuits or judgments that have been delivered to you.
Remember, proper documentation and disclosure is the key to a successful bankruptcy. Failure to provide proper documentation or to make proper disclosure could have serious ramifications.