Choosing The Right Course of Action

About four years ago, I could tell that things were turning south with my business. Cash flow was tight, and customers simply weren't coming back to shop some more. I realized that if I was going to keep my house, I would need to do something to resolve my finances. Although it was scary, I decided to meet with a bankruptcy attorney. After I explained my situation, he helped me to understand the process and how to tell if it was a good idea or not. When I decided to do it, things started changing for me right away. This blog breaks down bankruptcy in layman's terms, so that you can decide whether or not it is right for you.

Your Checklist For Filing For Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy law service providers need a lot of information from clients before moving forward with their cases. If you're getting ready to file for bankruptcy, bring the following things to your appointment with a bankruptcy attorney.

Proof of Income

Ideally, you want to have tax returns from the last two years. If you didn't file tax returns for either of the last two years, try to find the most recent ones you can. Also, any other sort of proof of your current income is helpful, such as records from the Social Security Administration.

Anyone who has experienced a recent drop in income may need to document that change, too. If your hours were cut back at work, for example, you'll want to provide the last three months of payslips to show the drop. Similarly, if you were recently laid off, let go, or fired, it's a good idea to provide any related evidence like a termination letter.

If you have unusual or irregular income sources, include that data. For example, someone might frequently sell items online but not on a regular business. A bankruptcy law firm can provide a note in the brief explaining what's unusual about the income.

Assets List

You should collect a list of what your assets are. This is especially important if you're planning to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. The Chapter 7 process involves the sale of non-exempt assets, so the court needs to know what you have. Also, an asset has to be listed for you to have a chance to ask a judge for an exemption.

Not listing assets is a major mistake. One potential sanction a judge can apply if you don't list assets is rejecting the case. There are worse penalties, including civil or criminal referrals for extreme cases of deliberate misrepresentation of assets.

Records of Debts

Whenever possible, try to obtain records indicating what your current debts are. If you can print out your current utility bills with balances, for example, do so.

The names of your creditors need to be accurate so don't depend on old records. Get the most current names and addresses possible. Contact the creditor if necessary, and ask them to send you a record of the current account balance and their contact information.

If you don't get the creditor's name right in the filing, there is a risk the creditor will have grounds to continue collection actions. Essentially, not including a creditor or debt in the filing leaves the specific debt outside of bankruptcy law.


29 July 2021