I’ve Hired A Bankruptcy Attorney. Now What Happens?
Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney is an important step in filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, but what happens next isn’t always clear to new clients. In general, the client will supply some documents and the attorney will draft the bankruptcy petition, statements, and schedules. Once the bankruptcy paperwork is drafted, the client will sign the documents and the attorney will electronically file the documents with the bankruptcy court.
Tax Returns, Pay Stubs, & Bank Statements
Once a client hires a bankruptcy attorney they’ll need to supply some documents. At a minimum, the bankruptcy attorney will need the client’s tax returns for the past 2 years, pay stubs for the past 6 months, and recent bank statements. The attorney may also request a profit-and-loss statement if the client owns a business, or a mortgage statement if the client owns real estate.
Most bankruptcy attorneys will order a credit report for the client. The credit report will list credit card accounts, car loans, mortgages, and other debts. At times, some debts may be missing from the credit report such as medical bills and payday loans. The credit report will help your attorney list the major debts in your bankruptcy paperwork, but you’ll need to supply old bills or collection letters for any debts missing from the credit report.
Petition, Statements & Schedules
Once the attorney has your documents, credit report, and proof of other debts, they will draft the bankruptcy petition, statements, and schedules. In most cases, these legal filings will total 50 plus pages. Once drafted, you will sign these documents verifying the accuracy of the information contained therein. In general, the legal filing will report your assets, debts with creditor addresses for court noticing, income history, living expenses, and answers to specific questions. Once the attorney has your wet signatures they can electronically file your bankruptcy case.