What Bankruptcy can do for You

16 Oct


Experienced Protection

We provide strong thorough protection. We give you solid solutions and fast answers. Our fiduciary responsibility is you. Your house. Your car. Your hard work. We legally guard your financial assets.

With a phone call, we can begin a process that within only a day or two can stop your creditors in their tracks and give you peace of mind. Contact us today in Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797today to arrange a free office consultation. Here is the process in a nutshell.

What We Do:

  • We meet to determine what is best for you
  • We stop bill collectors from contacting you
  • We protect your assets
  • We stop the foreclosure process
  • We counsel you on your rights
  • We guide you, making as simple as possible
  • We file your petition
  • We stand by you at the court hearing

We believe in accountability. Our philosophy is simple…vertical accountability to our Creator ensures horizontal accountability to our clients. Here are some of the credit question most commonly asked by our clients. What about :

Past Due Taxes

Are you worried back taxes owed to the IRS?  If you owe State, Federal, or local taxes and you are also behind in other payments to creditors, Federal Laws can give you assistance.

Filing Bankruptcy Can Stop Tax Garnishment

If you file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all collection activities, including tax garnishments must cease.  While you may still owe the tax, the automatic stay will put you in a better position to deal with repaying the tax, if it is not one that can be discharged completely. Certain taxes, specifically income taxes (depending on their age) may not have to be repaid should you declare bankruptcy.  If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you may get up to 60 months to pay back taxes which are non-dischargeable under bankruptcy.

Understanding that each debtor’s circumstances are unique, results will vary depending on your individual situation.  The McCandless Law Firmhas helped many individuals in similar situations out of the financial holes they have found themselves in.  Contact us today to see how we can assist you in getting the fresh start you deserve.

Judgments

Help With Judgments
If you have been sued by a creditor and have had a judgment issued, the creditor may file an Abstract of Judgment asserting a lien on all real property you own, not unlike another mortgage.  As long as the judgment goes unpaid, it usually increases as the creditor has a right to interest on the unpaid balance.

Subject to certain exemptions, a judgment creditor can also try to collect on other things you may own, such as a car, household goods, money in the bank, tools, equipment, etc.   The judgment against you will appear on your credit report which may result in a more difficult time obtaining credit and may also has some negative effects with respect to employment.

While dealing with the effects of a judgment can be devastating, contact one of our bankruptcy attorneys today to see if filing Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will eliminate the debts before they can become judgments.  In some instances, your creditors can be completely eliminated, and in others, you may be able to negotiate a repayment plan up to five years in duration for what amounts to pennies on the dollar.

Understanding that each debtor’s circumstances are unique, results will vary depending on your individual situation.  The McCandless Law Firm has helped many individuals in similar situations out of the financial holes they have found themselves in.  Contact us today to see how we can assist you in getting the fresh start you deserve.

Foreclosures

Help With Foreclosure
If you have been given a notice of default and a foreclose sale is scheduled a bankruptcy stay will delay the foreclosure and a Chapter 13 plan will provide for a repayment plan to make up the back payments.

Repossessions

Help With Repossessions
If you are aware that you are behind on car payments and a repo man is looming or have been threatened with a repossession a bankruptcy stay will delay the repossession and a Chapter 13 plan will provide for a repayment plan to make up the back payments and avoid the repossession altogether.

Student Loans and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy attorneys frequently get asked whether student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy. As the Bankruptcy Code is very broad in defining what constitute a student loan, not only are government backed student loans such as Stafford, Direct, or Perkins loans normally non-dischargeable, but the Bankruptcy Code goes further and excepts “any indebtedness incurred…solely to pay higher education expenses” from being discharged.

Notwithstanding the general prohibition against discharging student loans, only two instances exist in which a debtor can eliminate student loans in bankruptcy. The first situation is where it can be shown that requiring the debtor to repay his or her student loans would impose an undue hardship. To qualify for a hardship discharge, a debtor must prove that they will never be able to pay back their student loans, whether it is an inability to repay due permanent disability, or some other reason which would establish undue hardship. To be eligible to receive this type of discharge, usually the debtor must be found to be totally disabled and would be require to supply sufficient documentation that he or she is unable to work due to life threatening illness or injury. If, however, the debtor was afflicted with the illness or condition at the time he or she obtained the student loans, the hardship discharge would be inapplicable. The second instance is where a debtor lists his or her student loans in a Chapter 13 plan and the lender fails to object. This issue has been the subject of great controversy however, and the law in this regard may change in the near future as bankruptcy practitioners anxiously await the United States Supreme Court decision in United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, argued in December 2009.

The offers free initial consultations to individuals and families who are struggling financially and seek relief afforded by the Bankruptcy Code. Whether you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy or have received a foreclosure notice and are having difficulty with creditors, Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797 if you want to get past difficult times and get the fresh start you need.

Things You Must Do Prior to Filing

Stop using your credit cards and don’t incur any additional credit.
Once you have made the decision to file bankruptcy, you should not use your credit cards nor incur any additional credits from that point forward. Any recent purchases or advances can be held as still due and owing after you file bankruptcy. The rational is that you never intended to pay those debts back and is similar to fraud. If you’re seeking a fresh start, do your best to insure that you will in fact receive that fresh start. The credit card issuers are very aware of attempts to run-up the charges on credit cards. This also applies to cash advances. If you take a cash advance too close to filing bankruptcy, you are likely to see an objection from the credit card issuer. The objection comes in the form of an adversarial complaint. If the creditor is successful in their objection, the amount of the recent advance(s) will be held due and owing after your bankruptcy case.

Take the required credit counseling briefing
Before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be filed, a person must take a credit counseling briefing from an approved credit counseling agency. This credit counseling briefing can be done on the internet or by telephone. The entire briefing typically takes less than one hour and at the time of this writing, costs approximately $50.00. The credit counseling briefing requires the debtor to provide information as to their monthly income and expenses as well as a listing of their creditors. This briefing must be completed within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.

File your taxes
You must file your most recent year’s taxes to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Although this seems like a simple requirement, you would be amazed at the number of individuals who have not filed their most recent taxes. A copy of the return will be forwarded to your assigned bankruptcy trustee after your case is filed. You must also provide your most recent tax return to any creditor who requests it.

Provide your most recent paychecks
You must provide the most recent 60 days worth of paycheck stubs at the time your case is filed. These will be forwarded to your assigned bankruptcy trustee or may be filed with the clerk of the bankruptcy court. This measure is in place to make sure that the amount listed on the petition for monthly income is in fact accurate. If a person receives income from a source other than employment, evidence of that income must be provided just as if a paycheck stub. Once you are aware that you are likely going to file bankruptcy, keep copies all of your paycheck stubs in an organized manner.

Get Your Paperwork in Order
Collect all statements from bill collectors. Go online and get complete addresses of creditors who may have stopped billing you. Check the balances at financial institutions where you bank. Look at your recent tax returns to provide your gross income over the past three years. Basically, get to know your assets and liabilities and have them written out and organized for your lawyer to prepare your case. Gather a listing of all of all of your debts.

The more complete you can be in providing a list of your creditors, the less problems or headaches you will have from creditors after your bankruptcy case is over. Once you know that you are going to file, start to save all correspondence that arrives from creditors, collection agencies or others who are trying to collect on a debt. The disclosure requirements have become more stringent so you want to make sure that your have forwarded all of your creditor information to your attorney. If you are unsure of exactly who you may owe, you may want to consider acquiring a copy of your most recent credit reports. Each year you may request a free copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus reporting companies. Those are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian and they can be obtained by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. Even if you are unaware of the creditors listed on your reports, provide those to your attorney anyway. When you seek credit, after your filing, for a mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan, you want to be able to show that all of the items on your credit report were listed and discharged in your bankruptcy case. The rule to remember is to list everybody and their grandmother on your bankruptcy petition and schedules. This way you can be assured that you are not leaving anyone out of the bankruptcy.

Check and review your petition for accuracy
Your attorney will prepare your bankruptcy petition and schedules primarily based upon the information and disclosures that you have provided. The petition and schedules will then need to be reviewed and signed by you. Do not take this step lightly. You are verifying that the information is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and that all of your assets and liabilities are listed. This is the time to double check the itemized list of creditors shown on the petition and schedules with your known list of creditors. You also want to make sure that your home, vehicle or other assets are properly listed and exempted to the full extent of the chosen law. Remember, your petition and schedules are a legal document signed under oath. Take the time to insure that they are true and accurate.

Pay your attorney or make payment arrangements
Most attorneys will want to be paid in full before they file your case. If they don’t, there is a chance that their fees may be discharged in the bankruptcy. All attorneys’ fees come under the scrutiny of the United State’s Trustee’s office and the bankruptcy court judges. They will monitor whether the fees charged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case are excessive. They will also determine whether or not the attorney had collected fees from his client when the debt was discharged. A debtor should be aware that there might be additional fees charged for filing amendments to the petition and schedules and for missed court dates. It is a good idea to get the attorney fee issue out of the way as early as possible. It is often the main reason why in certain circumstances, a case never gets filed.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is designed to erase consumer debts and bankruptcy statistics show is the quickest and most straightforward type of bankruptcy and works best for individuals with large credit card debts or medical bills. Gaining a better understanding of Chapter 7 bankruptcy will help you determine whether it is suitable for your circumstances.

Should You File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In determining whether to file for Chapter 7 an individual should evaluate their financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. In assessing the viability of a Chapter 7 case, the amount of debt is not as important as the client’s inability to repay it. Whereas some debtors file for bankruptcy with a relatively small amount of debt, others wait until massive amounts of debt accumulate before filing. With the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, the client’s debt, income, expenses and assets will be examined to help determine whether Chapter 7 is advisable.

The Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to disclose all of their monthly income and expenses. In addition to wages earned, debtors must disclose all other sources of income and are subjected to a means test. If an individual passes the means test, they are presumed to qualify for Chapter 7. Debtors who do not qualify for Chapter 7 pursuant to the means test may still be able to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

The bankruptcy process begins with a petition filed in bankruptcy court that triggers an automatic stay which prohibits further collection efforts of creditors. While the court appoints a trustee to liquidate assets to pay existing creditors, most assets are subject to existing liens or are be exempt from liquidation. Generally, things like household goods, clothing and personal items are fully exempt. Property which is particularly valuable, such as oil paintings, coin collections, or rare items may have higher value than what can be protected under the exemption rules. In those circumstances, the debtor could be required to turn over the property to the trustee or offer to buy the trustee out of his interest in the non-exempt property. Once the trustee collects any nonexempt assets and pays creditors from their proceeds, any remaining debt is discharged, subject to certain limitations such as secured debt, taxes, Student loans, alimony and fraudulent acts.

If the debtor is concerned about losing certain assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she may be able to reaffirm certain assets, which permits them to keep the property outside of the bankruptcy by entering into a reaffirmation agreement if the debtor has sufficient disposable income and is relatively current on payments and the creditor agrees to reaffirm.

While filing for bankruptcy is often a difficult decision to make, debtors overwhelmingly feel relieved after they have filed for bankruptcy. At the McCandless Law Firm, we are committed to providing personalized service and our team of professionals want to help you get a fresh start. Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797 today in Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797today to arrange a free office consultation.

Deed in Lieu

A deed in lieu agreement is another option for individuals who do not have the financial means to continue making payments on their mortgage but seek to avoid foreclosure.  A deed in lieu is an arrangement in which the deed to property is surrendered and any remaining balance on the mortgage is forgiven.  This is a good option for some individuals who have substantial equity in their home, but who cannot find a buyer for a short sale.

With a deed in lieu, a timeline will be established regarding turning over the deed and vacating the property.  The homeowner may also be expected to pay fees associated with transferring the property to the mortgage lender, and as with short sales, any forgiven principal balance may be subject to a forgiveness tax.  This can create an additional tax burden for some individuals, therefore the decision to go through with a deed in lieu arrangement is one that must be carefully evaluated.

If you are considering a deed in lieu arrangement with your mortgage lender, talk to one of our bankruptcy attorneys today.  The McCandless Law Firmoffers professional advice and a free, no-obligation case evaluation, so that you can complete information about your legal rights and any choices you may have when it comes to avoiding foreclosure.  Contact us in Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797 today to learn about bankruptcy law, deed in lieu arrangements, and your rights and obligations under the law.

Why Hire An Attorney for Bankruptcy

Since the passage of new bankruptcy legislation in years past, the laws have become so complex that it is virtually impossible for lawyers who do not handle bankruptcy cases, much less a paralegal or document preparer, to be able to properly analyze a debtor’s situation, recognize the applicable exemptions and handle the debtor’s case from petition through discharge. In addition to completing the debtor’s petition, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can advise which banks are quicker to freeze deposited funds when bankruptcy is filed or which lenders will immediately repossess your car despite timely payments by a debtor.

While an individual could save money by hiring a less qualified individual to assist with their bankruptcy case, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” is good advice. While it is possible to pay too much if a lawyer’s fees are exorbitant, you can also pay too little as the cheapest bankruptcy can often turn into the most expensive as mistakes in preparing the petition could be costly. While paralegals may charge low fees, he or she cannot give legal advice which could result in the loss of certain assets or a denial of discharge by the Court. By hiring an experienced lawyer you can get peace of mind knowing whether filing bankruptcy is really in your best interests and that foregoing some savings will save you money in the long run. If your eyesight was bad and you needed laser surgery (LASIX™) would you trust your vision to the cheapest doctor? Probably not. While past mistakes may have left you in the position where filing bankruptcy is necessary, do not make another mistake when it comes to your financial future and hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

The McCandless Law Firmoffers free initial consultations to individuals and families who are struggling financially and seek relief afforded by the Bankruptcy Code. Whether you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy or have received a foreclosure notice and are having difficulty with creditors,  in Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797 if you want to get past difficult times and get the fresh start you need.

Repair your Credit Score

One of the best things about getting a fresh start by declaring bankruptcy is that it allows you a chance to rebuild your credit score.  The first step in re-building your credit is to eliminate debt.  With less debt, meeting your remaining financial obligations should be easier, provided you manage your finances well.  Second, you should make sure to remove any negative information that remains on your credit reports with the three major credit reporting agencies.  After your bankruptcy is complete, any debt discharged therein should be listed on your credit report as included in the bankruptcy with a zero balance.  If the information regarding these debts is not updated, the accounts could still appear to be active, which could limit your ability to get credit.

In order to check the accuracy of your credit reports, you should order a copy of them to make sure all your discharged debts are listed as being included in your bankruptcy case and now show only zero balances. You can contact the three major credit reporting agencies online at:
•    Trans Union:  http://www.transunion.com
•    Equifax: http://www.equifax.com
•    Experian:  www.experian.com

Other valuable tips to help rebuild your credit after bankruptcy include:

1.    Establish accounts that will report positive information on you. Get a single credit card with a small credit limit, use it sparingly and pay the entire balance each month.
2.    Repay all bills in a timely manner.  Most credit cards and utilities report late payments.  After your bankruptcy, late payments will continue to paint you as a bad credit risk to creditors.

Asset Protection

While many clients are excited to get a fresh financial start through bankruptcy, the McCandless Law Firm understands the apprehension and fear of losing one’s assets. Whether it is your home, vehicle or prized personal possessions, implementing a solution for your debts does not mean that you have to lose the things your family values most. Our team of professionals will provide you with the information necessary to protect your assets and advise which exemptions may be available.

Asset Protection

While bankruptcy laws are federal statutes, the court will look to state exemptions to determine which assets you can protect from creditors.

Discharge Violations

Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, debts listed in your petition will be discharged.  While you will not have to repay these debts and creditors will not be able to contact you and demand payment, some creditors continue to pursue discharged debt. This is a violation of bankruptcy discharge laws, and you may be entitled to monetary damages. It is crucial that your bankruptcy petition was complete to make certain that all dischargeable debt was included in your filing.

If debts that have been properly discharged, demands for payment are rare but if this does happen to you, rest assured that our team of professionals will seek justice for you in court and recover any damages that you may be owed as a result of the creditor’s violations.  Proper legal representation is essential in order for you to take advantage of the full protection that the law provides.  If you have concerns about a bankruptcy discharge violation, contact us Southern California (909)890-9192 in Northern California(925)957-9797 as we can help answer your questions and give you the information you need to make an informed choice about your particular situation.

What is Causing All of These Bankruptcy Filings?

There are several common causes which lead to filing for bankruptcy.  These included, but are not limited to the following:

1. Lawsuits/Garnishments

Nobody wants to be sued and brought to judgment.  Nobody wants to have 10%-25% of their hard earned wages deducted from their pay.  In many cases, the taking of 10%-25% of one’s wages leads to the inability of that person to pay his rent, utilities or auto payment.  Just the thought of the employer potentially having to garnish wages leads many to panic.  Debtors do not want their employers or co-workers knowing of their financial troubles.

2. Auto Repossessions

Imagine waking one morning, heading out the door to work, only to find that your car is not where you parked it.  Sure you were a little late on the auto payment, but you thought the finance company would wait for you to get current on your own.  Auto lenders will do whatever it takes to get you financed, regardless of whether you are actually capable of affording the car.  They realize that if you can’t pay the installment, they can take back their vehicle and re-sell it before it fully depreciates.  They do this through the use of auto auctions where the vehicle sells for substantially less than what is owed.  This leads to a deficiency amount which the lender seeks to recover from the debtor, you.  Talk about insult to injury, the debtor first loses possession of the vehicle and then gets sued for the outstanding deficiency balance.  Who wants to pay for something that they no longer have?

3. Unpaid Medicals

With more and more Americans going without medical insurance (45.8 million, per the U.S. Census Bureau press release dated 8/30/05), they risk losing whatever they have earned throughout their lifetime should a major medical problem occur.  Most claim that they can’t afford to carry medical insurance.  In reality, they can’t afford not to.  The rising cost of health care could significantly deplete one’s savings should a serious illness or injury occur.  Even those with co-payment coverages are having a difficult time meeting their burden of the bill.

4. High Interest Loans

There have always been high interest personal loans from many sources.  In recent times, the advent of the payday loan has surfaced.  These loans have exorbitant interest, which is often carried over to extend the loan.  People who cannot survive until their next payday are giving up a huge portion of their paycheck to get the money in advance.  This dangerous cycle leads to further borrowing with less and less money actually going into the worker’s pocket.

6. Foreclosures

The pride and joy of being a homeowner can be easily tempered by the hard work and cost of maintaining the home.  Calling the landlord to make repairs is not an option; you are your own landlord.  When the water is not flowing to the main sewer, you have no option, but to make the repairs.  Additionally, the mortgage needs to be timely paid no matter what your special circumstance may be.  Real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance are also required to be paid regularly or you face a foreclosure suit.  Changes in employment, health, income and marital status can lead to one’s failure to make timely payments.  Many take second mortgages or lines of credit which simply create an additional, financial burden on the homeowner.  When faced with the reality that they cannot afford the home, debtors can vacate the home and extinguish any mortgage liability through  bankruptcy.

7. Overzealous Lending

How many credit card applications have you received in the mail this year?  If you are like many Americans, the applications continue to appear regularly.  Have you received convenience checks or offers for additional lines of credit?  If so, you may have taken advantage of the use of the credit without any feasible way of repaying the debt.  Many people are receiving pre-approved credit applications when they are in fact, not credit worthy.  The credit card lenders point fault at the debtors for accepting the credit without the means to repay it.  It seems more logical to fault lenders who do not undertake to check the credit worthiness of particular debtors.

8. Consumer Overspending

Many people see what they want, acquire it, and decide later how they will pay for it.  People want to possess the latest clothing, jewelry, electronics, etc.  Most stores now offer the ability to take the product home through the use of store credit cards or outside financing.  You may even get a modest percentage discount off the purchase price if you open or use the store charge card.  Many people charge their groceries, restaurant and transportation expenses believing that if they just make the minimum payments everything will be alright.

Debtor Laws

Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you must be truthful about your financial situation in order to take advantage of bankruptcy protections.  While this does not pose a problem for a majority of individuals, it is often unwise for a debtor undergoing a bankruptcy to seek to secrete or hide assets.

When you file bankruptcy, expect that the trustee will perform a thorough investigation of your assets and your financial transactions for a year or more prior to the bankruptcy.  If the trustee determines that you have sold or given away valuable items before filing for bankruptcy protection, this can cause your case to be dismissed.  If this happens, you will have to re-file and may not benefit from the protection afforded by the automatic stay which means that creditors will be free to pursue their collection attempts.  Additionally, debtors who attempt to hide assets may be guilty of fraud, accordingly, it is important to disclose any and all financial activities in your initial petition.

Despite innocent intentions, certain actions may require that you to have to wait in order to file for bankruptcy in order to avoid dismissal.  If you have recently sold or given away valuable property, you may have to wait for a year before you file, which is why it is important that you speak with a reputable bankruptcy attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy.  The McCandless Law Firmoffers legal advice for anyone who may be considering filing for bankruptcy, contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Creditor Laws

While creditors must follow specific laws when it comes to collecting on debts, creditors often resort to unscrupulous collection practices which violate the Fair Debt Collection Act and risk being fined, or sued, depending upon the severity of the violation by attempting to take advantage of consumers who are ignorant when it comes to debt collection practices.

Fair Debt Collection Practices
Creditors must follow fair debt collection practices if attempting to collect on a debt. There are several laws in place governing creditor communication, including:

• Creditors cannot call and harass you throughout the day.  One phone call per day is allowed, provided that they actually speak with you.
• Creditors cannot misrepresent themselves to be a lawyer, police or other governmental entity.
• Creditors cannot threaten, harass, or annoy you.  They may not use profanity or threaten to sue you, garnish your wages or take other actions that they do not really plan to take.
• Creditors cannot call at inconvenient times, or contact you by telephone after you have requested that they stop calling.

Automatic Stay Violations

If you have filed for bankruptcy protection, creditors cannot attempt to collect on a debt for as long as the automatic stay is in place. Creditors that violate the automatic stay may be subject to legal action, and monetary damages. An automatic stay goes into place as soon as your paperwork is accepted by the bankruptcy court.  If you are contacted by creditors after they have been informed of your bankruptcy, you may be able to pursue the creditors in court.

Bankruptcy Discharge Violations

If a debt is listed as discharged on your bankruptcy filing and a creditor still attempts to collect on the debt, you may be entitled to damages. Speak with a reputable San Bernardino County Bankruptcy Attorney and get the representation that you need in this case.

Even though creditors have a right to collect the debts they are owed, they have to collect them within the boundaries of the law.  Fair debt collection practices were put into place to protect consumers like you, and you may have the right to seek damages if creditors employ abusive collection techniques. Contact us to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney if you have contacted in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and get the legal representation you need to recover damages and prevent further abuse.

California Bankruptcy Statistics

As Southern Californians deal with the fallout from the mortgage crisis, many homeowners and families have found themselves saddled with debt they cannot afford. As a result of this unfortunate situation, individuals are increasingly turning to bankruptcy to get their financial lives back on track. A majority of individuals file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help wipe out most, if not all, of their unsecured debts, including credit card bills, medical bills and judgments. For those individuals who do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial where the debtor has significant property and/or wants to eliminate a second mortgage on the residence.

At the McCandless Law Firm, we are committed to providing personalized service and our team of professionals will help you obtain a fresh start for you and your family. Contact us today to arrange a free office consultation. Documents to Collect Before filing, the following documents will be necessary to complete your bankruptcy petition:

1. Copy of each debtor’s social security card and bring original with you to your hearing

2. Copy of each debtor’s drivers’ license and bring original with you to the hearing

3. Documentation of any wage garnishments, wage assignments or other legal actions, including lawsuits

4. Copy of recent real estate appraisal, if any

5. Copy of most recent real estate tax bill

6. Pay stubs for each debtor for prior 6 months

7. Documentation of other income i.e. child support, social security, pension, disability, unemployment for prior 6 months

8. Copies of federal and state tax returns complete with all schedules including W-2’s for the prior 4 years

9. Copies of checking account, savings account, and money market account bank statements complete with copies of canceled checks for the prior 6 months (you will be asked to supplement this at a later date)

10. Copy of any life insurance policies except ones through employment including a statement regarding the current cash value

11. Copy of most recent brokerage account statement

12. Copy of most recent individual retirement account statement

13. Copy of most recent pension/retirement account statement

14. Copy of most recent 401K, 401B or 401E account statement

15. Copy of any contract for deed in which you are a buyer or seller

16. Copy of divorce decrees and/or domestic support obligation orders (child support or alimony)

One Response to “What Bankruptcy can do for You”

  1. Jimmy Rivera October 16, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Great article (I forwarded it to all my friends). What is the cost for your services?

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