Deciding to file for bankruptcy isn’t a simple matter. It’s something most people stress about for months before actually filing.
While bankruptcy is an effective solution to overcome significant debt, it can also have some consequences if you aren’t careful. One of the best things you can do is be prepared. One part of preparing for this filing is to gather the necessary documents.
Your financial records are an important part of filing for bankruptcy. This information will help you determine the type of bankruptcy you should file. Some of the financial records to gather include:
- Recent bank statements
- Recent bills from creditors
- Invoices or bills for purchases made the prior year
- Recent payment coupons or statements for student loans, real estate and vehicles
Any legal history or pending litigation you are involved with is information that is needed when filing bankruptcy. This includes prior judgments that show debts, which can help determine the type of bankruptcy you should file. Current court orders and pending litigation will also help determine how much you can pay your creditors when you file.
Other legal records to have when filing bankruptcy include:
- Divorce decree or another court order that outlines how much spousal maintenance or child support you pay
- Files from your past attorneys
- Files from any past litigation (this includes judgments against you)
When filing for bankruptcy, you need to show a complete picture of your financial situation. Some of the other documents that can help you do this include:
- Canceled checks for costs that aren’t documented elsewhere
- Proof if someone owes you money
- Correspondence with or about creditors
- Insurance policies
- Promissory notes
- Mortgage or lease
- Vehicle titles
- Past three years of tax returns
Preparing to file for bankruptcy
If you plan to file for bankruptcy or want to know if there are other options for your financial situation, gathering the information above is a smart starting point. Doing so will help you with the bankruptcy process.