Really, It’s Not That Hard to Compile the Information for a Bankruptcy Filing

24 Sep Really, It’s Not That Hard to Compile the Information for a Bankruptcy Filing

If you have recently inquired about filing bankruptcy, you might have suffered a shock when your lawyer told you what paperwork you would need to produce in order to file the case. If so, read on for a pleasant surprise.

Different bankruptcy lawyers often communicate the same information to clients in different ways. Sometimes, a bankruptcy lawyer will ask all clients, even those with less involved cases, for the same quantity of financial information, on the mistaken theory that the more information that is obtained, the less the chance could be of missing something important.

However,a good bankruptcy lawyer can spare the client a lot of paperwork hassle by simply spending more time with the client, asking the right questions

Additionally, some bankruptcy lawyers are simply better than others at explaining things to clients, so the clients will understand what is needed and why it needed. A good bankruptcy lawyer knows that the client should understand the reasons for the financial information that goes into a bankruptcy petition. This way, the client will come back with what the lawyer needs, having been inspired by the lawyer to understand that compiling the necessary paperwork is a finite task which can be accomplished by the client within a reasonable time.

The following is a complete list of the items you need to give to your bankruptcy lawyer, at a minimum, to complete the filing, if yours is an average bankruptcy case for a middle class type person.

  • Credit counseling certificate
  • Seven months paycheck stubs (seven? ask your lawyer why)
  • Copy of last year’s tax return
  • List of names, addresses and amounts of every debt
  • A brief worksheet containing a list of assets and your monthly household budget
  • Filing fee of $299 for chapter 7, or $274 for a chapter 13, along with whatever fees you have agreed to pay your bankruptcy lawyer

See what I mean? You probably can pull this information together in a few days at most. You’ll be glad once you do it, and so will your lawyer.

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Craig W. Andresen is a consumer bankruptcy lawyer in Bloomington, Minnesota, with 22 years’ experience in consumer and small business bankruptcy cases. He is the Minnesota chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section. Mr. Andresen lectures often on the topic of consumer bankruptcy at local and national legal seminars.
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