What Do I Need to File Chapter 7 Bankrutcy?

You decided that filing Chapter 7 is in your best interest. To effectively file your case various information and documents are needed. The following is a brief outline:

  1. You must list your property: cars, house (if own one); a generalized list of your furniture 
    • Some people will say “I’m current on my car and/or house.” They must still be listed. The finance company doesn’t want your car or house: they want your money. You just continue to pay
  2. All of your debts. We help get your free credit report but there are some creditors who do not report to the credit bureaus. 
  3. Pay Stubs. The last 60 days of pay stubs.
    • I didn’t work for all or part of the last 60 day: we can prepare a statement;
    • If on social security, unemployment, worker’s compensation, or pension we just need a letter showing the monthly or periodic payments
    • If paid cash or by check a letter from your employer on its letterhead
    • If self-employed: a log of your income for the past several months. Depending on your income you might also have a log of your expenses.
    • Sometimes but often where one’s income goes up and down we may need more than just the last 60 days.
  4. What if I’m married but only I am going to file? If you are married and living with your spouse we need her income. (We don’t list his/ her name or social security number.)
  5. Income Tax returns. The law requires that we have the last two (2) years of income tax returns.
    • What if I haven’t worked for one or both years or I am not required to file a return (like some people of social security)? We can prepare a statement that you were not required to file an income tax return one or both years. 
  6. What if I didn’t file because I didn’t get around to it or I didn’t file because I owe money? You need to get the returns filed; failure to do so will result in your Chapter 7 case being dismissed.
  7. Your social security card (for a very few ITIN or EIN card) and a valid driver’s license or state ID
  8. Credit counseling. We must have a certificate of credit counseling before a case can be filed.
    • The course is taken over the web. Some clients do it at home and some do it in our office;
    • We recommend one that has a low cost: under $10.
  9. The court’s filing fee: $335 (will be raised shortly). The filing fee can be paid in installments.

I know that this seems like a lot but most folks have everything and we do help you. Almost all cases go smoothly and you get your Discharge and Fresh Start.


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