Many people considering bankruptcy fear that the paperwork needed to file will be daunting or overwhelming but this is just a bankruptcy myth. If you’re faced with out of control debt and harassing phone calls bankruptcy could be a great solution. Fortunately, with the right attorney we help to make the bankruptcy process EZ. Although you dont need to bring any paperwork to our first meeting I’ve provided you with a list of documents you’ll eventually need.
Social Security and Drivers License
Among the paperwork needed to file bankruptcy is A copy of your social security card and drivers license: If you dont have one or the other there are certain substitutions that the Court will make. For instance if you dont have a drivers license a Government ID will satisfy the requirement.
State and Federal Taxes
Some very important Paperwork Needed To File Bankruptcy is your State and Federal tax returns. For a chapter 7 bankruptcy you’ll need the latest two years. For a chapter 13 you’ll need the last four years. In the event that you’re not required to file taxes you wont need to bring them.
When gathering these documents, you will want to bring anything that was submitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission or the Internal Revenue Service. This includes the returns and any additional schedules or other documents that were filed. It does not include statements from your tax service, receipts, or other materials used to prepare your taxes. Your attorney may also ask for copies of your latest W-2 statements.
Car and Truck Titles
If you own one or more cars, trucks, RVs, boats, or any other motor vehicles that have a title, you will need to bring copies of those titles. This is so your attorney can properly identify the property in your bankruptcy petition, and so the trustee can see ownership and any liens against the items.
Deed to Your Home
If you own your own home its an exempt asset but we need to see a copy of the deed to the property. In Oklahoma, this is usually called a “Warranty Deed”. Your attorney needs this to obtain the “legal description” of your property, which is how the property is recorded by the county (as opposed to a street or mailing address). Your attorney will also need the deed to show ownership to the trustee. If you own real estate other than your home, your attorney will also need to see deeds for those properties, whether they have structures on them or are empty lots.
Retirement Account Statement
If you have any sort of retirement account, be it 401(k), IRA, pension, or some other form of retirement plan, your attorney will need to see a copy of the latest statement. Your not going to lose the retirement account because its an exempt asset. The purpose for producing the documentation is to prove tpo the court that its a qualified retirement.
Lawsuit and Garnishment Records
If you know that you are a party to a lawsuit of any kind currently pending in the courts, or that was filed in the last twelve months, bring a copy of any paperwork you have. In particular we need the garnishment paperwork or something that tells us who is garnishing your check. Once the case is filed we’ll fax a copy of the bankruptcy to your payroll. This includes and order to stop
Your attorney will need to see the transaction records or monthly statements for any bank accounts, checking or savings, for the preceding six months prior to filing. What this means is that if you have your initial meeting on July 1, your attorney will ask for documents from January 1st through the present date. If you wait to file until September 1, your attorney will also need copies of the documents covering July and August. In addition, if you have closed any bank accounts in the last twelve months, your attorney will need to know what bank and branch, the last four digits of the account number, the month and year the account was closed, and the final balance of the account.
Payroll Records or Pay Stubs
If you are employed, your attorney will need records of your pay for the same six month period up to the date of filing as the bank records mentioned above. If you receive regular paychecks from your employer, this would be those pay-stubs. If you do not regularly save your pay stubs, you should be able to obtain them from your employer. If you get paid in between providing those records to your attorney and when you sign your bankruptcy, you will also want to provide him or her with copies of the updated pay stubs. If you are self employed, or own and operate your own business, consult your attorney on exactly what sort of records he needs to show your income and expenses.
Social Security and Other Benefits
If you receive Social Security or Federal Social Security Disability payments, your lawyer will need a copy of your latest yearly benefit statement, which lists how much you receive and how much is deducted for medicare and taxes. If you receive any other benefits, like food stamps or rent assistance, you will want want to bring some form of documentation to show what you receive. If you receive, or are supposed to receive, child support, provide a copy of the order for child support (this may be a divorce decree, paternity order, or some other document establishing how much you currently receive or are supposed to receive.