Ask a Lawyer: What Information Do I need to Complete Bankruptcy Forms?

Posted by William Kain on August 5, 2014 at 8:00 AM
William Kain

ask_a_lawyer_-_bankruptcy_formsDepending on the individual case, the number of pages in a typical bankruptcy petition and schedules is between 50 to 70 pages. The majority of the pages consist of your list of creditors. Each creditor that you owe on the day that you file your bankruptcy case must be listed in your bankruptcy schedules. Therefore, if someone has 20 creditors, his bankruptcy schedules will not have as many pages as someone who has 50 creditors.

It is easy for a debtor to become overwhelmed by the amount of information required to prepare their petition and schedules. That is where we come in. It is our job to help our clients gather the necessary information to prepare and complete the bankruptcy forms. We want this process to be as stress-free and easy as possible because we understand that you have been dealing with the stress of financial problems for some time; our goal is to relieve this stress rather than add to it.

What Do I Need to Complete My Bankruptcy Schedules?

Below is a list of documents and information that we will need from you, to prepare your bankruptcy forms. We may need some additional information once we review the completed documents; however, this is on a case-by-case basis and depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

  • Basic information – Your full name, address and social security number. You will have probably already provided this to during your initial visit
  • Real estate information – We need a complete description of any real estate that you own with a copy of the deed, current tax bill and homeowner’s insurance declaration page. If you do not have a copy of your deed or tax bill, you can obtain copies from the county real estate property offices.
  • List of personal property – We must list all of the personal property that you own, such as your vehicles, bank accounts, jewelry, retirement accounts and household goods. We will give you a form that needs to list your personal property and the value of each item. Having copies of your vehicle titles or registrations, current bank account statements, retirement accounts and life insurance policies will make it much easier to complete this form.
  • Creditors list – We need a list of each creditor that you owe, including collection companies. You can request free copies of your credit reports from www.annualcreditreport.com to help you compile a list of your creditors. Using your most recent statement from each creditor can also help you locate the address, account number and balance owed.
  • Copies of pay advices – We must report your income for the past six months; therefore, we need copies of your paystubs or other evidence of income for the six months prior to filing. If you do not have copies of your paystubs, you can obtain copies from your employer.
  • Copies of tax returns – We must also have copies of your tax returns for the past two years to verify your annual income.

Having access to all of this information will streamline the form completion process. Together we will accurately and comprehensively complete all of the necessary forms for your petition; this, in turn, will ensure we don’t run into any issues in court.

An experienced, trustworthy bankruptcy attorney can make a world of difference. Download our free Bankruptcy Consultation eBook for tips on how to choose the right bankruptcy attorney.

What to Expect in a Bankruptcy Consultation

Topics: Bankruptcy