Bankruptcy attorneys in Omaha and elsewhere are required to make sure that the information on your bankruptcy petition is, to the best of their knowledge, accurate and truthful. Additionally, federal bankruptcy laws require that certain documents, such as pay stubs, are actually filed with the bankruptcy court. (Note: Although pay stubs are actually filed with the Court, they are not visible to the general public in the ordinary case). In order for your bankruptcy attorney to do his or her job properly, you need to provide him or her with certain written documentation. Of course, each case is different and different types of document requests will be made on a case by case basis, but generally, you will need the following:
Basic documents necessary to prepare for bankruptcy in Nebraska and Iowa:
1. All pay stubs from the last 7 months;
2. All bank statements….or a printout from your bank (from all accounts that have your name on them) for the last 7 months;
3. Vehicle registrations and/or copies of vehicle titles;
4. The latest copy of any bill or invoice in your possession;
5. Tax returns (both federal and state, including attachments such as your W2s) for the last two (2) years;
6. If you are self employed or run a small business, you’ll need a Profit & Loss statement for at least the last 7 months;
7. Divorce Decrees and Property settlements if issued within the last five (5) years;
8. If you are mentioned in a Trust of any sort, a copy of the Trust Agreement;
9. All collection agency letters, letters from law firms and legal documents such as lawsuits.
The above gives you a general idea of what a bankruptcy attorney must review. Again, each case is different and, in fact, some bankruptcy cases require very little documentation. However, the more information and documentation that is provided to a bankruptcy professional, the better your case will go. Too little preparation only leads to bad situations.
Other paperwork and preparation necessary to file bankruptcy:
Besides the documents mentioned above, a Bankruptcy Questionnaire must be filled out by anyone wanting to file bankruptcy. You don’t need to be a legal expert or even know anything about bankruptcy in order to do this. Rather, you just need to answer some basic questions about your finances. For example, who do you owe money to and what type of assets and property do you own? Have you sold or transferred any assets to another person or entity in the last 4 or 5 years? How much do you make and do you expect to receive an inheritance in the near future? These are just a sampling of the type of questions contained in the questionnaire.
There is also a federal bankruptcy requirement that you take a very simple survey by a certified agency before you can file bankruptcy. This is NOT a test and everyone passes. However, you are required to answer some basic questions about your financial situation before your attorney can file the bankruptcy case for you. Fortunately, this course can be taken on the Internet and this is what most people choose to do. Alternatively, there are a few places in the Omaha metropolitan area that offer this course in town. The course generally takes less than one half hour to complete.
Keep it simple; Don’t get overwhelmed. We can help!
Don’t worry about making everything perfect or worry about not having all of the documents. As Omaha Bankruptcy Attorneys, we know what you are going through and how to help you through the process. Let us help you along the way. Keep things simple by gathering together those items that you can easily get your hands on. Then, set an appointment with our office and bring in what you have. Together, we’ll get this done!