Bankruptcy ChecklistMany Georgian families have had to make difficult household decisions in order to cope with the recent trying economic times caused by the recession.  From living with one car to downsizing houses to taking on extra jobs, our friends and neighbors have made sacrifices and rolled back household expenses.

Unfortunately, for some people even these measures have not worked to keep their heads above water and many families need to pursue other options to get their finances back on track.  One option that is available is filing for bankruptcy.  Since filing for bankruptcy will not help everyone achieve their financial goals, it is highly recommended that people who are considering bankruptcy speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help them examine their choices.

When you speak to a bankruptcy attorney, it is best to come in to the attorney’s office and bring all of the paperwork that may have an effect on your case.  By going over these documents with the other attorney, you will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not bankruptcy is right for you.

All Documents Related to Your Debts

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then you probably already know that the purpose of bankruptcy is to help people alleviate their debt burden and emerge from the process with a clean financial slate.  The only way an attorney can help you to do so, is if the attorney knows exactly how much and what kind of debts you have.  Therefore, you should bring all documents relating to all of your debts with you to your first meeting with your attorney.  These documents include paperwork regarding:

  1. Mortgages
  2. Lease agreements
  3. Car payments
  4. Child support and alimony
  5. Credit card debt (more info on what happens to credit card debt after bankruptcy and if you have to continue paying them after bankruptcy)
  6. Student loan payments
  7. Medical bills
  8. Any miscellaneous loans
  9. Outstanding property, federal, and state taxes

All Documents Related to Your Income

There are two types of bankruptcy an individual can file – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  It may sound counterintuitive but a person can actually make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Therefore, in order for the bankruptcy attorney to determine if you qualify for Chapter or if you need to file for Chapter 13, the attorney must be able to review all of the documentation relating to all sources of your income.  Therefore, you should bring all of that related paperwork to your first meeting as well.  Income-related documentation includes:

  1. Form W-2s, Form 1099s, and paystubs
  2. Annuities
  3. Payments from rental properties
  4. Inheritances
  5. Stock portfolio statements and other investments
  6. Bank statements for all accounts
  7. Paperwork relating to ownership or membership interests in a company or limited or general partnership

Additionally, many people own other assets that may affect their bankruptcy case, such as fine jewelry, designer clothing, antique furniture, expensive artwork, multiple houses or cars, etc.  Any potential assets must be documented and disclosed to your attorney in order for the attorney to provide you with the complete picture of your prospective bankruptcy case.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and have further questions about the process, call 404-913-1529 or fill out our contact form to speak to one of our attorneys.  We are happy to schedule a meeting to review your case with you, answer all of your questions, address your concerns, and give you an honest picture of what your bankruptcy case may look like.  We look forward to working with you!