Filing Bankruptcy – What Documents Does an Attorney Need?

by | Published on Nov 27, 2018 | Legal Transcription

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Being an experienced legal transcription company, we are familiar with all legal procedures that court reporters, attorneys, judges, law firms and insurance companies handle including bankruptcy filing. Filing for bankruptcy, no doubt is stressful for individuals as well as businesses. While helping people to get a fresh start by liquidating assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan, bankruptcy laws also protect financially troubled businesses. In this court proceeding, a judge and court trustee examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses and decide whether to discharge those debts so they are no longer legally required to pay them.

Filing Bankruptcy

As bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes and as it involves complex dealings with court and creditors, often debtors hire a competent bankruptcy attorney. Qualified attorneys can advise on which chapter to file, tax consequences of filing, whether to continue paying creditors, and can also assist to file forms. As the court needs to see a complete picture of your assets, debts, and spending, the “new” bankruptcy law in 2005 that was forced upon debtors and their attorneys requires producing volumes and volumes of documents. While these documents serve to verify the truth of the matter, the frustrating part is the time-consuming task of gathering documents.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. While individuals may file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on the specifics of their situation, businesses may file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 to liquidate or Chapter 11 to reorganize.

In the case of individuals, mandatory documents to bring to your initial bankruptcy consultation are a list of your outstanding debts and a list of your assets, focusing on major assets such as houses, cars, boats, trailers, timeshares and more. Further, the attorney will provide a detailed checklist of other financial records and legal documents required.

Here’s a list of documents the attorney may ask for to file bankruptcy.

  • Recent bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Real estate valuation
  • Mortgage and car loan statements
  • W-2s or profit & loss statements for 6 months
  • Income statements from pension, social security, or Disability
  • Payment coupons for vehicles
  • Records from previous litigation
  • All bank and retirement account statements
  • Family support documents (Alimony or Child support orders)
  • Photo identification
  • Credit counseling certificate
  • Bills from creditors

Other documents may include canceled checks for the expenses you cannot document; records of correspondence with creditors such as phone calls or threat, documents showing your debts or anything you owe other people; any proof that someone borrowed money from you; and any lawsuits filed against you-past or present.

Once the petition is filed, the attorney may send out several notification letters to inform creditors about their client’s bankruptcy and represent their client at the meeting of creditors. Recordings of bankruptcy procedures at court can be transcribed with court proceedings transcription services from an experienced firm, which helps attorneys to better focus on their clients’ issues.

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