Filing for bankruptcy can be a complex process. It can entail gathering a lot of paperwork and going to several meetings. The court needs to see a complete picture of your assets, debts, and spending.

One of the best ways to simplify this process is to get organized. Knowing what documents you need to file for bankruptcy is the first step in getting organized and ensuring a smooth process during filing. If you are overwhelmed by the documentation required to move forward with your bankruptcy filing, our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers can help. Here’s a list of the documents, records, and information you will need to gather in preparation.

Bankruptcy Documents Checklist

The bankruptcy document checklist is:

  • Basic personal information
  • Income documentation
  • Tax returns
  • Real estate
  • Vehicle titles and records
  • Bank statements
  • Alimony/child support verification
  • Credit/debt records
  • List of assets
  • Proof of credit counseling

How Can a Bankruptcy Attorney Help Me?

Working with an attorney can help you avoid errors to ensure that your filing is correct and complete on the first try. The best bankruptcy attorneys in Las Vegas understand the complex nature of bankruptcy filings. They have the expertise to help you determine the best options for your particular situation. A bankruptcy attorney ensures that you get it right the first time. They help you avoid mistakes that cost time and money. With an experienced attorney, you have the assurance that you’re getting the best possible results for your case. Your attorney ensures that you pursue all of your rights under the law.

Bankruptcy is a difficult time. You owe it to yourself to have the help of qualified professionals. The skilled bankruptcy attorneys at Half Price Lawyers can review your paperwork and ensure that you have everything you need to get the process right.

Basic Personal Information

An important part of your bankruptcy filing is documenting who you are. You’ll need most of your basic information, such as your full name and your social security number. You’ll show your identification when you meet with the trustee.

Income Documentation

Most Chapter 7 filers in Nevada have income that falls at or below the state median income. There are some circumstances where you can still file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you make more than that. However, the court does a thorough evaluation of your income and debts to determine your eligibility. The court is going to look at documents that verify your income to make sure that you make the right type of filing.

Usually, you need pay stubs for the six months prior to your filing. You also need your last two W-2 forms. If you’re self-employed, you need a copy of your profit and loss statement for the six months before you file. If you have other types of income like social security, disability, or investment income, you need records of these earnings. The court uses this information to make sure that you’re eligible for the type of bankruptcy that you’re seeking. If you’re filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court uses the information to determine your repayment plan.

Tax Returns

Most bankruptcy trustees expect to see at least two years of tax returns. They can ask for more if you have variable income or if there are any other questions about the circumstances of your case. Tax returns verify your income.

Real Estate

Nevada law allows you to exempt a portion of your housing equity from the bankruptcy. In Nevada, this exemption is quite generous. You can keep your home with equity worth up to $550,000. To file for bankruptcy, you need to show the court proof of any value you have in real estate.

That means you may need to get an appraisal or show an online estimate of your home’s value. You’ll also need a copy of the deed and mortgage information, as well as proof of insurance. An experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer can help you gather proof of the value of your home.

Vehicles

The bankruptcy court needs to see proof of ownership for any vehicles you have. Also, if you pay a loan on any vehicle, you need documentation of the loan. Vehicles are another area of bankruptcy law where you can keep up to a certain value. In Nevada, the limit is $15,000. If you have a disability, there’s no limit to the value of vehicles that you can keep.

Documents Needed to File for Bankruptcy

Bank Statements and Other Financial Records

The point of filing for bankruptcy is to get a fresh start when you’re unable to pay mounting debts. That means you have to prove that you’re unable to pay your bills. The court wants to see your bank accounts and other financial accounts to make sure that you don’t have money hidden somewhere that could pay your debts.

You’ll have to show your bank account records and retirement statements. If you’ve made any transfers of money in the time before you file, you’ll need to tell the court about it and provide documentation of the transfer.

Proof of Alimony or Child Support

Mandatory court payments such as alimony and child support can affect your ability to pay. For that reason, you need to provide proof of these types of payments, if you’re court-ordered to make them. A certified copy of your court order should be enough.

Credits and Debts

Bankruptcy is about debt. That means you need to show that you have debts that you can’t pay. To have the court discharge your debts, you need to show the court what those debts are.

Also, if anyone owes you money, you need to document this as well. Your creditors will receive notice of the bankruptcy proceedings so they can represent their interests. That means the court needs to know who they are and what you owe them.

List of Assets

In a Nevada bankruptcy, you get to keep household goods up to a value of $12,000. You can keep books, jewelry, works of art, and musical instruments up to an amount of $5,000. For this reason, you need to be able to document your assets. This doesn’t mean you have to list every item of silverware and every toothbrush in your house. However, you have to make a general list of your assets, so the court can have confidence that you meet the requirements.

You may also need information about your monthly expenses, such as grocery bills and utility costs. This can help the court make decisions about your ability to pay your debts. If there are any contracts or other information that impacts your expenses and your ability to pay your bills, the court needs information and documentation for everything.

Proof of Credit Counseling

Federal law requires you to complete credit counseling before you file for bankruptcy.[1] Counseling helps you establish healthy financial habits so that you can make the most of your fresh start. When you file, you need to provide proof that you’ve completed your credit counseling course.

Contact the Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers at Half Price Lawyers Today

With so much paperwork to complete, there’s always the chance that you might miss something important or make a mistake. The consequences can be steep. If the court believes that you’re not honest about your income, debts, or other vital information, they can throw out your bankruptcy proceeding. They can also take steps to seize your assets. You may be left with debts that you don’t deserve or payments that are too high based on the realities of your situation.

At Half Price Lawyers, we believe that everyone deserves affordable representation for their bankruptcy. We offer aggressive, thorough representation for bankruptcy clients. Call us, start a chat, or book an appointment today to see how we can help you with your bankruptcy documents and your bankruptcy case.

Sources

[1] List of Credit Counseling Agencies Approved Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111. (2020, February 28). Retrieved 3 March 2020, from https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111

About the Author

Mark Coburn, Esq.

Mark Coburn is a dedicated and experienced defense attorney serving the Southern Nevada area. His passion for the law and commitment to his clients has made him one of the most prominent defense attorneys in Nevada. If you’re in need of a defense attorney, contact Mark Coburn for a free consultation on your case.