Managing personal finances continues to become more and more challenging for people all over the country. With rising levels of unemployment, stagnating wages and higher expenses, more and more people are struggling to stay afloat. In some situations, due to mounting debt and other financial challenges, filing for bankruptcy is the best option.
There are many benefits that come when you do file for bankruptcy as it could help you to regain your financial freedom. However, the process of doing so can be complicated and time consuming. If you are going to file, you should receive help with filing for bankruptcy from a reputable bankruptcy attorney. These professionals can provide you with a consultation to help you determine if filing is right for you. They can also guide you through the whole process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
One part of filing for bankruptcy is the need to provide the bankruptcy courts and creditors with many different forms and pieces of information. They will then review and assess all of this information when analyzing your bankruptcy filing. There are several forms of paperwork in particular that you will need to gather.
Personal Identification Cards
When you file for bankruptcy, you will undoubtedly need to provide many forms of information to confirm your identity. Some pieces of information that will be needed will include a valid drivers license, a state identification card and your social security card. You may also need to provide a current utility bill to confirm that the address you provide is valid.
A Current Credit Report
The process of determining whether your bankruptcy filing will be approved will include notifying all of your creditors and outlining your debts. A credit report will include all of your current loans, credit card debt and other obligations that have been reported to the credit agencies. The report will also summarize your past payment record, which will indicate whether you have been current with payments in the past.
Credit Card and Other Loan Statements
Along with the credit report, you will also need to provide copies of all of your loan and other debt statements. Many of these creditors will have already been recorded on the credit report, but it is possible that others were not. It is important that you provide statements and communication received from all of your creditors. If you forget to provide some, it could result in certain loans not being expunged during the bankruptcy process.
Pay Stubs and Tax Returns
During the bankruptcy filing process, all of the parties will try to determine whether you are able to repay the debts on your own or if you could afford a loan if the debts were consolidated. To do this, you will need to show evidence of your income. Normally, you will need to provide your most recent tax returns and up to six months of paystubs from your employer. If you have other sources of income, you will need to provide evidence of this information as well.
Having a current look at all of your personal assets is also a big part of the bankruptcy filing and proceeding. To ensure that you are providing a fair look, you need to provide the last six months of statements for all of your accounts. This can include any checking and savings accounts, investment accounts and even retirement accounts.
Other Asset Values
The bankruptcy court will also need to see a full list and accounting of all of your personal assets. This will include providing a current estimated value of your home, any vehicles you own and even personal assets. This process will also include giving a list of personal items including furniture, electronics and other items of value that you own.
Credit Counseling Certificate
In many cases, you will also need to take a credit-counseling course when filing for bankruptcy. This will ensure you understand the process and the impact it could have. Prior to filing, you may be required to provide a copy of your completion certificate.