Sunday, January 19, 2020

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What Documents should I Bring to the Attorney?

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Category: General Articles

Tax Returns

You will need to provide copies of your tax returns or tax transcripts for the last two years.  If you have unfiled returns, you will need to explain why you were not required to file.  If you did not have a valid reason for not filing, most trustees, especially in Chapter 13 cases, will require you to file your taxes and provide copies before concluding or approving your case.  Again, some trustees may require more tax returns while others may ask only for your most recent one.

Income Documentation

If you are an employee, you will need copies of paystubs for the six-month period prior to the bankruptcy and your last two W-2s.  If you are self-employed, you will need to provide a profit and loss statement for the same six-month period as well as business bank statements to verify the amounts on the statement. If you have income from other sources such as social security, pension, disability, or rental properties, proof of this income is also required. If you are married, we will need proof of your spouse's income also, even if your spouse is not filing.

Real Estate

If you own real estate, you will need to provide a mortgage statement(s) showing current loan balances and a copy of your recorded mortgage.  A recorded mortgage is available from the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located.


If you have cars, you'll need to provide copies of your vehicle titles. If you have a car loan, will need a recent loan statement showing how much you owe and what your monthly payment is.

Judgment of Divorce

If you have divorced in the last five years, please bring a copy of your judgment of divorce.

Life Insurance

If you have a life insurance policy which features an investment portion, such as whole or universal life, please bring a statement of the policy's current cash value. Term Life insurance has no cash value and thus, no statement is required.

Retirement And Bank Accounts

Recent bank and retirement account statements usually have to be provided to the bankruptcy trustee for all accounts.  Bring statements from IRA's and 401(k)'s.


If you have any other special circumstances affecting your bankruptcy such as being required to pay alimony or child support or other unusual expenses, you will need to show proof of these expenses (for example, you could provide a copy of a child support order).  We will also need the name of the child support payee (generally the other parent of the child) and their current address, not the address of the Friend of the Court.


When you go to your hearing with the trustee, you will be asked to show valid photo identification such as a driver’s license and proof of your social security number.

Bills, Lawsuits, and any other Debts

Your attorney will need to see any documentation you have regarding your debts.  Even though a credit report will be obtained, some debts are not reported to the credit bureau.