Below is a list of the documents and information we will need in order to prepare the bankruptcy forms. We will not need this information until you are ready to file the case. It generally takes us 7-10 days to prepare the bankruptcy forms once we have this information. The information and documents I will need are as follows:
( ) Bankruptcy Certificates: Each individual filing a bankruptcy must get a “bankruptcy certificate” from an approved credit counseling service before filing a bankruptcy case. We will provide you with a list of agencies. Note that the certificates only last for 180-days, so don’t get your certificate until you are close to filing the case. After filing the bankruptcy you will need to return to the credit counseling service to take a “financial management” course.
( ) List of Creditors: We will need the name, correspondence address, account number and balance owing for each creditor. You must include all debts whether or not you want to keep the debt - mortgage loans, car loans, personal loans, contingent debts – every possible claim against you. Getting us a copy of the most recent statement is fine. Where there are collection agencies, we will need information for both the original creditor and all collection agencies. If there are creditors for whom you have no billing statements, please provide us with a list for those creditors that includes correspondence addresses, account numbers and current or estimated balances. This may require you to do some research, to make calls etc.. You should consider getting a credit report. You can get free credit reports once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
( ) Real Estate/Residence: If you own your home or other real estate, you will need a Realtor’s Comparative Market Analysis [CMA] showing the current fair market value of your home. If the value of your home is disputed in a bankruptcy you will need to get an appraisal.
( ) Vehicles: For each vehicle we will need sufficient information to get a Kelley Blue Book valuation, including the year, model, make, mileage and additional information.
( ) Retirement Statements: Copies of your most recent retirement statements together with the most recent retirement loan statements, if any.
( ) Business Inventory and Equipment: For any business that you own, either directly or through a corporation, we must list your business tools, equipment and inventory, and accounts receivable, and indicate the liquidation value of assets. For the tools, equipment, sock and inventory, we should separately describe any single item that could be liquidated for more than $1,000, and we can group less-valuable items into categories that make sense to you. Please use liquidation values to try to show what you would get if you were to go out of business and sell-off the business assets. You don't need to spend days creating a list of equipment and inventory, but please do your best to give us an adequate description to support the valuation so that if the Trustee comes to review the business assets, it will be apparent that we are not omitting any valuable assets. We will need your current Accounts Receivable showing the money that is owed to your business at the time you provide us with information. Please identify any receivables that you believe you will not be able to collect so we can see how much of your A/R is collectible. If the business is a corporation, please also provide us with a current Accounts Payable showing the current amount owing for corporate debts and monthly expenses.
( ) Pay Stubs: The Bankruptcy Court will require each and every pay stub for the seven months prior to the date that we file the bankruptcy. There can be no missing pay stubs. If you do not have all of your pay stubs, you will need to get a report from your employer showing the income and deduction information for each missing pay stubs.
( ) Self Employment: If you are self-employed, we will need a business income/expense statement for each of the seven months prior to the date that we file the bankruptcy. There must be a separate statement for each month. We will also need a year-to-date total of the business income/expenses.
( ) Rental Income: If you have rental properties we will need income/expense reports showing the gross rents received and actual expenses paid by property for each of the seven months prior to the date that we file the bankruptcy. There must be a separate statement for each month. We will also need a year-to-date total of the rental income/expenses for each separate property.
( ) Other Income: If you receive Social Security, Unemployment, Child Support, food stamps, gifts of cash or any other income, we will need copies of receipts or other proof of the amounts you received for each of the seven months prior to the date that we file the bankruptcy. You may need to go to the agency that is paying you to get a report showing the income that you received for each of the seven months. If there are no records, please prepare a list showing the amounts you received by month for each of the seven months prior to the date we file the bankruptcy.
( ) Bank Statements: We need copies of your last 7-months bank account statements. This includes personal checking and savings accounts, business accounts, accounts that are joint with others, custodial accounts with children - everything.
( ) Last Two Years Tax Returns: We will need to see your signed Federal Income Tax Returns for the last two (2) years [or 3 years if we will be filing a Chapter 13 case]. Where you have not filed those returns, we will need you to provide us with the amounts of money you received during the year broken down by source of income and a brief statement that you were not required to file tax returns for those periods. Please be advised that if you were required to file tax returns, but have not yet filed the returns, you will be required to file all necessary tax returns. This includes income tax, sales tax, employee tax, etc.. You must sign the copies of the tax returns.
( ) Real Estate Transactions: If you have refinanced, sold or transferred any real estate in the last four years we will need a copy of the Seller's Estimated Closing Statement or other documents showing the sale and how much you were paid.
( ) Foreclosure: If your home is in foreclosure, please provide us with copies of all of the foreclosure documents you have received.
( ) Law Suits: If you have been involved in any litigation in the last one (1) year, we will need copies of documents from the lawsuit. If you have a pending wage garnishment please also get us the name, phone number and fax number of the individual with your employer who is responsible for payroll. This will help us to quickly stop any garnishment once the bankruptcy case is filed.
( ) Child Support/Alimony/Property Settlement Agreement: If you have a Court Order or other agreement arising out of a divorce or child custody matter that involves payment of child support, payment of alimony, payment to a former spouse for a property settlement or the assignment of responsibility to pay debts, I will need a copy of the Court Order, agreement or other documents to verify the agreement or Order.
( ) Business Information: If you own a business we will need a copy of your business license, copies of any professional licenses and copies of business insurance policies.
There may be other documents that we will need in addition to those listed above. We will let you know if we need more information. Please feel free to e-mail documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law Office Hjerpe & Collins, LLP
350 E Street, 1st Floor
Eureka, CA 95501
Telephone: 707 442-7262
Fax: 707 442-0712