Chapter 7 Record Requirements

When you decide on the right bankruptcy lawyer who will represent you in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, he or she will request certain financial documents to complete the necessary paperwork. In addition to the actual bankruptcy petition, you will be required to submit legal documents that show your assets and liabilities (debt), as well as your income. Your attorney will tell you exactly what documents you need and will help you attain them, if needed.

Documents that you will need to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy include any paperwork that shows all of the property you currently own as well as its value. This includes: cash, savings and/or checking accounts, CDs and annuities; documents showing pension and/or profit-sharing accounts; receipts or other documentation showing approximate value of household goods and electronics; antiques and collectibles; deposits with utility companies, landlords, etc.; applicable educational or tuition accounts; vehicles including cars, trucks, boats and planes; clothing, furs and jewelry; hobby equipment such as guns, sporting goods and cameras; business machinery, fixtures, furniture, supplies and/or equipment; insurance policies, stocks, bonds and assets from business interest; business licenses, franchises, patents, trademarks and/or copyrights; money owed to you from others including pending tax refunds; alimony, support, maintenance or property settlements to which you are entitled; interests in the estate of a decedent, life insurance or trust.

Your lawyer will determine which of these documents are pertinent to your case and will help you retrieve them, which can often be somewhat problematic. Your bankruptcy attorney will also tell you what property is eligible to be included on the schedule of claimed exemptions and thus protected from liquidation.

You will also need to provide: legal documents showing any real estate you may own, its current value and the amount of any secured claim (mortgage) and a list of creditors, the amount owed to them and the security on the accounts.

Your bankruptcy attorney will then determine which debts belong on the secured schedule as well as what unsecured debts belong on the priority schedule and which on the non-priority schedule. This sounds confusing, but your lawyer will explain it all to you. Do not hesitate to ask questions about anything that you do not understand.

You will also need: a list of current contracts or unexpired leases, whether you are the lessor or the lessee of the property and a list of the names and addresses of any co-debtors on any accounts, along with the names and addresses of the creditors on those accounts. Since co-debtors can be affected by your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, your bankruptcy lawyer will need to carefully explain the situation as to how it affects you and any of your co-debtors.

It is also necessary for you to gather the following document: addresses where you  have lived for three years; the name and location of any businesses you have owned for the past six years; the name/address of your current employer and how long you have been employed there; official documentation of your salary. You will also need: a list of payments you have made to creditors during the last 90 days; a list of your monthly expenses and a list of any payments you have made to “inside creditors”, such as family members.

As your bankruptcy progresses you will need some or all of the following documents: documentation of administrative proceedings and/or lawsuits in which you have been involved for one year preceding your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing; a list of ‘set-offs’ by any creditor in the past 90 days

a list of property that has been assigned benefitting your creditors within 120 days prior to your bankruptcy filing; property received from a custodian or court-appointed official in the year preceding your filing; documentation of property transferred during the two years preceding the bankruptcy filing;  listing of all property that has been repossessed, attached, garnished, foreclosed, seized or returned during the year preceding your bankruptcy filing; any property held or controlled by the debtor for another person; a list of property that has been assigned to creditors during the 120 days preceding your filing; a list of charitable donations made during the preceding year and a list of documented losses from theft, fire, casualty or gambling within the year preceding your filing.

Finally, you will need to gather documents pertaining to the following: any financial accounts that you have sold, closed or transferred during the year preceding your filing for bankruptcy; payments made for debt or bankruptcy counseling within the preceding year and a list of any safe deposit boxes that you currently hold or held within the year preceding your filing.

Since it can sometimes be very time-consuming and, indeed, difficult to gather all of this information, it is in your best interest to get it as soon as possible to avoid any delay in your Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. If you have questions as to why you need some these documents or where you can find them, call to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy representative from Client First Bankruptcy at 800-383-6004. Why not give us a call right now?