Bankruptcy is a complicated legal proceeding, which requires filing a considerable amount of paperwork when you consider this option. Due to the statutory basis and the nature of bankruptcy, you must comply with the documentation requirements.
The following documents are required and are taken into consideration when filing for bankruptcy:
- Basic Personal Information
- Tax Returns (3 years)
- Income Documents (paycheck stubs, SSDI statements, or Social Security Statements)
- Proof of Real Estate Fair Market Value
- Vehicle Titles and Vehicle Loan Statements
- Bank Account Statements and Other Financial Records (6 months)
- Savings Account Statements (6 months)
- Credit Reports
- Retirement Account Statements (6 months)
- Life Insurance Policy if Applicable
- Bonds, Stocks and Business Financial Statements (6 months)
- Other Documents
You must document your identity when filing for bankruptcy. You need to provide basic information such as your legal name and social security number. When meeting with the trustee, you will have to provide proof of your credentials. You are requested to present valid photo identification (for example, your driver’s license) and your social security card when attending the hearing. If you do not have your social security card, you may have to go obtain another copy.
Why do I need to present my tax returns? The tax returns will verify your income. You are expected to show at least three years of tax return transcripts. You need to provide your tax returns or tax transcripts for the last three years in a Chapter 7 case, and over the previous four years in a Chapter 13 case. If you have unfiled returns because you were not required to file (for instance, your only income source was nontaxable disability benefits), you will need to explain why. A short letter of explanation will suffice.
On the other hand, if you merely failed to file, you will be required to do so and provide copies before concluding or approving the case. This filing is especially the case when filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The court will do a thorough evaluation of your income and debts to determine your eligibility. Usually, there will be a request for your pay stubs for the previous six months before filing. You will also need your last two recent W-2 forms. If you are self-employed, you should have a copy of your profit and loss statement for the previous six months before you file.
If you possess any other forms of income, such as social security, disability, or investment income, you will need to provide records of these earnings as well. The court will use it to make sure that you are eligible for the type of bankruptcy that you are seeking. If you are filing Chapter 13, the court will use this information to determine your repayment plan.
Proof of Real Estate Fair Market Value
Under Nevada law, a portion of your housing equity can be exempted from the bankruptcy. In Nevada, this exemption is generous. You are permitted to keep your home equity worth up to $605,000.00. To file for bankruptcy, you will need to show the court proof of any market value in real estate. Hence, you may need to get an appraisal or show an online estimate of your home’s value. It is your responsibility to provide the deed and mortgage information, as well as proof of insurance.
Vehicle Titles and Registration
If you own a car, proof of its value will be required. The bankruptcy court needs to see evidence of ownership for any vehicles you may have. Furthermore, if you pay a loan on any vehicle, documentation of the loan is necessary. A recent loan statement showing how much you owe, and a monthly payment receipt are needed to prepare the paperwork. Copies of registration and proof of insurance might be necessary, depending on the particular trustee.
Bank Account Statements and Financial Records
The court will want to see bank accounts and other financial records to assess and make sure that you are incapable of paying your debts and that you are not trying to file for bankruptcy fraudulently. Ultimately, the point of filing for bankruptcy is to get a fresh start when you were unable to pay your growing debts.
A recent bank statement or other financial records must be provided to the bankruptcy trustee for all accounts. You will have to show your bank account records and other related financial records. If you have transferred money in the time before filing, then you will need to tell the court about it and provide documentation of such transfer. The trustee will also want to see how much your bank accounts had on the day of filing. The trustee will also go through your last six months of bank statements to see if there were large deposits, withdraws, cash advances or credit card purchases, or transfers. Information on charges to PayPal, Western Union, and similar cash sites will also be required.
You also need to obtain your credit reports. You can get free copies online every 12 months. Each creditor must be included in the bankruptcy forms, including secured creditors, unsecured creditors, and priority unsecured creditors.
Even if you, as a debtor, fail to include a creditor in your form, you may still be in debt to that creditor after your case is discharged, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. You have taken an oath to include all debts that you owe in your bankruptcy filing when signing your bankruptcy forms; therefore, it is essential to list all of your debts.
If other circumstances are affecting your bankruptcy, such as being required to pay alimony, child support, or another unusual expenses, you will need to show proof of those costs. For instance, it’s common to provide a copy of a child support order. If you have recently divorced, you may need to give a court order, or marital settlement agreement documenting property distribution.
These are the forms used in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13:
- B 101 Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
- B 105 Involuntary Petition Against an Individual
- B 106 Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules
- B 106 Sum A Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information
- B 106A/B Schedule A/B: Property
- B 106C Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt
- B 106D Schedule D: Creditors Who Hold Claims Secured By Property
- B 106E/F Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
- B 106G Schedule G: Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
- B 106H Schedule H: Your Co-debtors
- B 106I Schedule I: Your Income
- B 106J Schedule J: Your Expenses
- B 107 Your Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
- B 121 Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers
These forms must be completed and filed even if there is nothing to report. Additionally, you will need to compose all your creditors’ names and addresses using the format required by your court’s rules.
The following forms are used in Chapter 7:
- B 108 Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
- B 122A-1 Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income
- B 122A-1Supp Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2)
- B 122A-2 Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation
It must be noted that the first two forms are filed in a Chapter 7 case, whereas the last two forms can help the filer pass the means test and thus qualify for the Chapter 7 Debt Discharge.
The following forms are used in Chapter 13:
- B 113 Chapter 13 Plan
- B 122C-1 Chapter 13 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period
- B 122C-2 Chapter 13 Calculation of Your Disposable Income
- Other Bankruptcy Forms
The forms are not mandatory in every case – only when applicable.
Debt Rescue Law can explore all options with you and assist you in filing for bankruptcy. Call us for a free consultation at (833) 707-1234 today.