Everything You Need to File for Bankruptcy

Many people think filing for bankruptcy is a simple and streamlined process. Think again. Before you are allowed to approach qualification—evaluated by a means test—you must collect a trial of paperwork to state your case. Read on to discover what is required to file for bankruptcy; knowing the facts could save you months of headaches.

The Basics

Filing for bankruptcy begins with some simple information. Gather the following:

  • The name, address, and contact information of every creditor you owe
  • Applicable account numbers
  • Billing statements, dating back to the first month of your missed payment
  • The debt owner (e.g., is the debt owned by your spouse as well?)
  • The total outstanding balance of each account
  • Monthly payment amounts
  • The date and year your delinquent debt began

Employment and Income

Once you have outlined your debt, you must illustrate your inability to repay. Disclose the following:

  • The name, address, and contact information of your current employer. If you are unemployed, list how long you have been without work.
  • Copies of pay stubs, unemployment checks, worker’s compensation, child support, Social Security benefits, etc.
  • Copies of tax returns, including:
    • State and federal income
    • Property tax documents
    • Business tax documents (if you own an LLC, S Corporation, or sole-proprietorship)

Living Expenses

Living expenses can account for more than half of a household budget. When costs are overwhelming you, it is important to cite your difficulties when filing for bankruptcy. Be sure to include:

  • The mortgages and deeds of any owned properties, or rental agreements and contracts
  • Titles of your car and recreational vehicles (e.g., motorcycle, RV, boat, etc.)
  • The cost of utilities, phone, and other expenses
  • The cost of your dependents

Proceedings and Notices

Filing for bankruptcy is about finding relief from overwhelming debts and impending lenders action. Make sure to include copies of actions already in motion, such as:

  • Foreclosure proceedings
  • Repossession notices
  • Legal proceedings
  • Collections

Expert Intervention

With information in-hand, filing for bankruptcy is the next step. This process requires the help of an attorney or other legal advocate. When you file your petition, you must also file other court documents, including:

  • Voluntary Petition
  • Summary of Schedules
  • actual Schedules
  • Statement of Intention
  • Creditor’s Matrix
  • Miscellaneous forms

The accuracy of these documents is crucial to your case, so make sure to consult an expert with a successful track record.

Filing for bankruptcy is a stressful process, but a little organization can help your efforts in a big way. Begin your future by assembling the details of your past in the best way possible. The results will help you achieve a smoother path to bankruptcy protection.

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