Preparing For Bankruptcy - Information Needed To File, Part 1

What information and documentation does a person need to file a bankruptcy case? The necessary documents are more or less the same whether filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

When filing a bankruptcy case, individuals must disclose their entire financial history up to the present. This involves providing proof of any income and tax returns to the bankruptcy trustee. It also includes two credit counseling/management courses.

Certificate of Credit Counseling

A debtor must take a course on credit counseling before filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. After completion of the credit counseling course, a certificate is issued by the credit counseling agency to the prospective debtor.

Evidence of Income

Debtors must provide evidence of wages and other earnings payments that are received within the 60-day period prior to the date of the bankruptcy filing.

For individuals who are not self-employed, which is many individuals, copies of paystubs for the six-month period prior to the bankruptcy and the last two W-2s are required. If self-employed,  a profit and loss statement for the same six-month period as well as business bank statements to verify the amounts on the statement will likely be required by the trustee. Any other income from other sources such as workers’ compensation, social security, disability, or rental properties, will have to be proven and documented.

Federal & State Tax Returns

A debtor must provide tax returns, which were filed, for the two years prior to the year of the filing of the bankruptcy case. Any unfiled returns will probably have to be filed unless an adequate excuse is accepted by the trustee. Most trustees will not confirm a Chapter 13 case if tax returns are not filed.

Alberto Montefalcon is here to assist anyone who may need to consider filing a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7 or 13. Please schedule a consultation today at any of our three conveniently located offices. Contact us online or schedule a consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices. Telephone our downtown Sacramento office at (916) 444-0440, our South Sacramento office at (916) 399-9944, or our Concord office at (925) 222-5929.