What Documents Should I Bring To My Bankruptcy Attorney?

You’ll have to provide documents to the trustee and gather other documents in order to complete your bankruptcy papers. Here’s what you’ll need.

When you fill out your bankruptcy paperwork, you’ll be asked to disclose information regarding your financial affairs, such as your income and expenses, assets and debts, and property transfers. Also, you’ll need to provide certain documents to the bankruptcy trustee to prove the accuracy of the information provided.

What Documents Do You Need to File for Bankruptcy?

The documents you’ll need are the same whether you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with slight variations. However, for exact documentation requirements, be sure to check the guidelines provided by your district and your specific bankruptcy trustee. Not only do some trustees require more proof than others, but the particular evidence you’ll have to produce will also be determined by the facts of your case.

Below are the most commonly required documents in bankruptcy.

Tax Returns

You’ll usually need to provide copies of your tax returns or tax transcripts for the last two years in a Chapter 7 case, and four years in a Chapter 13 matter. If you have unfiled returns because you weren’t required to file—for instance, your only income source was nontaxable disability benefits—you’ll need to explain why. A short letter of explanation will usually work.

If you merely failed to file, you can expect the trustee to require you to do so and provide copies before concluding or approving your case—especially in a Chapter 13 case.

Income Documentation

If you’re an employee, you’ll need copies of pay stubs for the six-month period before the bankruptcy and your last two W-2s. You’ll also need proof of other income sources such as Social Security funds, disability, or rental properties.

If you’re self-employed and filing for bankruptcy, you’ll probably need to provide a year-to-date profit and loss statement, as well as for the two full years before filing. Also, be prepared to present business bank statements to verify the profit and loss amounts.

Proof of Real Estate Fair Market Value & Mortgage Statements

If you own real estate, you’ll likely need to provide proof of the property’s fair market value. You might choose an online valuation, a broker’s price opinion, or a full appraisal, depending on the potential amount of equity or the guidelines of your district.

Also, plan to provide mortgage statements showing current loan balances and payment amounts. Some trustees also require the deed of trust and proof of home insurance.

Vehicle Registration, Proof of Value & Insurance

If you have a car, you’ll need to provide proof of its value. Most trustees will accept an online printout from nada.com or kbb.com.

If you have a car loan, you’ll need a recent loan statement showing how much you owe and what your monthly payment is to prepare your paperwork. You might need to produce it along with copies of your registration and proof of insurance, depending on the particular trustee.

Retirement And Bank Account Statements

Recent bank and retirement account statements must be provided to the bankruptcy trustee for all accounts.

Identification

When you go to your hearing with the trustee, you will be asked to show valid photo identification such as a driver’s license and proof of your social security number.

Other Documents

If you have other circumstances affecting your bankruptcy, such as being required to pay alimony, child support, or another unusual expense, you’ll need to show proof of these costs. For instance, it’s common to provide a copy of a child support order. If you’ve divorced recently, you might need to produce an order or marital settlement agreement documenting a property distribution.

How We Can Help

When you hire Stone Law Firm, you can rest easy knowing that the counsel you receive is backed by over 20 years of experience. Every case we take is examined with care and great attention to detail, and we help clients find the solution that works best for their specific situation.

We serve clients all over South Carolina with office locations in Columbia, Florence, and Greenville. If you are looking for an experienced bankruptcy attorney in SC, contact us today to learn how we can help you with your debt! Call (803) 389-0408 or request an appointment using our online form.

- Stone Law Firm

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