Hiring a bankruptcy attorney takes much of the responsibility off of your lap, but this doesn't mean you don't have to work. In order to assist your attorney with the filing process, ensure accuracy and improve the chances of a successful decision, there is a wealth of information you need to provide your attorney with. Make sure you know what this information includes so that you can start collecting everything ahead of time.
One of the main goals of the bankruptcy court is to verify your inability to pay off your debt and meet your financial obligations. Your attorney will need to review your income to verify whether or not you should even proceed with the filing.
If you are an employee, bring in pay-stubs over the last several months. If you are self-employed, profit and loss statements from the last several months or a statement from your business account should typically suffice. You also want to bring in information for any future income you have, such as a pension or an investment account.
Collect all the creditor information for your existing debts, including account numbers, balances, current payment terms and your current account status, such as past due. The attorney will compare this information to your verified income statements to get a general idea of whether or not bankruptcy is an option you can consider or if it would be better to assist you with setting up a payment plan.
Credit cards, auto loans and home loans are a great place to start. Also, bring payment information for accounts not included in bankruptcy, such as student loans and utilities, to give the attorney a better idea of your expenses.
Your attorney will also need to be made aware of any of your owned assets, such as property or a vehicle. In terms of property, you will need to provide a deed of trust, proof of insurance and a current mortgage statement. You will also need to have the property valuated, which can typically be completed online.
For your vehicle, you will need a copy of your current registration, current loan statement, proof of insurance and valuation details. Although there is no threshold of value for reporting assets, any item you consider to be highly-valuable should be reported to your attorney, such as jewelry or family heirlooms.
Providing this information is generally required regardless of what form of bankruptcy you plan to file for. However, it's a good idea to contact your attorney and get a complete listing of what information is necessary, as some attorney have different requirements. For more information, contact a law firm like Dunbar & Dunbar.