You have weighed your options, and decided that filing for bankruptcy is the best way to handle your debt problems. You may now be wondering: now what?
We’re here to help you understand what you need to do and what you can expect moving forward. Let’s explore the paperwork you need to gather prior to filing, the debt counseling course you must complete, and the hearing you will attend.
One of the task many people feel is the most daunting is gathering all of the necessary paperwork. It is critical that your bankruptcy petition be truthful and accurate, so gathering the proper documents is critical for your case. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take it one document at a time.
Prior to filing your bankruptcy case, our firm will need the following documents:
- 6 months of pay stubs
- 6 months of documentation of other sources of income (if applicable)
- 6 months of profit & loss statements (if self-employed or you own a business)
- Copies of your bills and documentation of other debts you owe
- Copy of your most recent mortgage statement(s)
- Copy of your most recent car loan statement(s)
- Copy of your federal and state income tax return or a transcript of the return, for the most recent filed year ending immediately before your case is filed.
- Copies of paperwork in regard to: pending lawsuits, wage garnishment, bank levies, foreclosure on real property, or repossession notices
- List of all bank and credit union accounts
- Record of any interest you have in an individual educational retirement account or under a qualified state tuition program.
- Certificate of completion for pre-filing credit counseling
Take the Debt Counseling Course
The mandatory debt counseling course must be completed within 180-days prior to filing for bankruptcy. The course can be completed online or over the phone. Generally speaking, it is straightforward, inexpensive, and not too time consuming. When you finish the course you will receive a certificate of completion, which must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
There is a second course called “Debtor Education,” that must be completed after filing for bankruptcy. It is a mandatory two-hour course in personal financial management. The curriculum is designed to teach you strategies on how to handle your finances after bankruptcy. Learn more about both courses here.
Understanding the Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing)
Understandably, many of our clients get very concerned when they hear the term Meeting of Creditors! Know that the Meeting of Creditors (also known as a 341 Hearing) is not held in a courtroom, there will not be a judge present, and you will not be grilled by your credit card company.
The mandatory Meeting of Creditors is an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case to verify your identity and ask you questions under oath. Your creditors will be notified of the date, time, and location of the meeting, and they have the right to attend. However, creditors rarely attend the Meeting of Creditors.
Read our Survival Guide to The Meeting of Creditors.
When you work with us, we will answer all of your questions and ensure that you understand what you need to do, what is next, and are informed about the details of your bankruptcy case. Call us today (912) 351-9000 to schedule your free consultation.
The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel proudly serves all of Savannah, GA and the surrounding counties including Chatham County, Effingham County, Bulloch County, Bryan County, Liberty County, Long County.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.