Before you can file bankruptcy you need to gather some documents. These documents will help your attorney draft the bankruptcy paperwork. In addition, some of these documents will be submitted to the bankruptcy Trustee before your meeting of creditors.
The bankruptcy paperwork requires reporting your year-to-date income and income for the previous 2 years. Accordingly, many bankruptcy attorneys ask for 2 years of tax returns or tax transcripts. The tax returns will show the attorney exactly how much you made during this period of time so your income can be accurately reported in the Statement of Financial Affairs. Also, the bankruptcy Trustee will need to see your most recently filed tax return. This submission of your tax return is required by Section 521 of the Bankruptcy Code.
To qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy your income for the past 6 months must fall below a certain amount. Accordingly, the bankruptcy paperwork requires reporting your income for the past 6 months. To accurately report your income bankruptcy attorneys request 6 months of pay stubs or other evidence of income. The most recent pay stubs for 2 months preceding your bankruptcy filing must also be submitted to the bankruptcy Trustee prior to your meeting of creditors.
Your bankruptcy attorney may ask for a few months of bank statements. Some attorneys want to see 6 months of bank statements while others may only ask for one. The bankruptcy Trustee will ask for at least your most recent bank statement before your meeting of creditors.
Your bankruptcy attorney may ask for additional documents depending on your situation. For instance, if you own a home your attorney may ask for your most recent mortgage statement. Likewise, if you own a business your attorney may ask for a profit-and-loss statement for at least the past 6 months.
At times you may feel frustrated that your attorney requests additional documents. Depending on the attorney, this frustration may be warranted. However, filing bankruptcy requires assembling some documents and updating documents prior to your meeting of creditors. At a minimum, you will need to gather your tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. Before your meeting of creditors, you may need to give your attorney a few more pay stubs and your most recent bank statements.