Which Documents Should I Bring?
- You’re considering contacting an attorney to set up an appointment. He’ll likely ask you to bring to that appointment certain financial documents and records, but which ones specifically will you need to provide? The following is a summary of those documents and records that Attorney Romito will need in order to begin the process of preparing your petition, or at least to properly assess your circumstances to determine if bankruptcy is a viable option for you:
- All pay stubs for last 6 months
- All 1040’s, W-2’s, and 1099’s for 2015 and 2016
- List of monthly expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, phone/cable/internet, food, clothing, medical, etc.)
- List of creditors, including dollar amount and account number (if possible, include most recent statement or invoice).
- Monthly mortgage statement (if applicable) and appraisal (if available)
- Monthly car loan statement or coupon book (if applicable)
- Most recent 401K / 403(B) / PSERS retirement plan statement (if applicable)
- Most recent statement for any insurance policies having cash/surrender value
- Information on any lawsuits (if applicable)
Although it might seem like quite an inconvenience to have to round up all these records and documents, it’s worth remembering that these disclosures are required by the bankruptcy law before the court will grant you a discharge of your debts. And in fact, before your case even gets to that point, your petition will be reviewed for completeness of disclosure by the case trustee, who will supplement his or her actual reading of your petition with a number of verbal questions at the creditors’ meeting*, including a summary question along the lines of: “Does your petition accurately and fully list all assets and liabilities?” And needless to say, unwanted complications can arise if your answer is anything less than an unqualified “Yes”. So it’s certainly worth taking a little time initially to collect all of these records, even if it’s somewhat inconvenient to do so, to avoid a much bigger hassle down the road. And keep in mind that my office will be happy to work with you, if necessary, in the collection of these documents and records. That is, even if you have lost or misplaced some of these items, rest assured that there is usually an alternative means of retrieving the information. For example, in the event that you cannot find your tax records (number “2” above), my office will be happy to assist you in locating and contacting the nearest IRS branch office, from which you can easily obtain a transcript containing both 1040 and W-2/1099 information.
Call my office today for a consultation. I can help you decide if Bankruptcy is the right choice for you, and you can rest assured that your case will be handled the right way.