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What documents do I need to obtain debt relief?

Those who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy are probably aware that this is not a minor financial matter with negligible consequences. Bankruptcy in Washington is a big decision that can affect your daily life by making borrowing more difficult. However, debt relief through bankruptcy can be the best financial option for some Washington residents.

When you are facing the cold, hard facts of financial insolvency, your best ally can be your attorney. This professional can help you organize your personal information to help your bankruptcy proceed efficiently. Those considering filing for bankruptcy should know that they need to collect and organize specific types of paperwork before they ever see a lawyer.

First, and most importantly, you must provide information about your financial status. Bank statements, bills from every creditor and payment coupons for your student loans, real estate and vehicles are critical. Further, bills, receipts and invoices for major purchases during the past year can also help paint a picture of your financial situation. This information will allow you and your attorney to determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be most appropriate for your personal situation.

In addition to other miscellaneous documents such as your current lease or mortgage, you should also be prepared to produce various legal documents. If you have a civil judgment pending against you -- or if you are going through a divorce or other family law proceeding -- those documents can play a pivotal role. Be sure that you bring information about current insurance policies, along with any correspondence you may have had with your creditors about the outstanding debt. Preparation can make your bankruptcy filing process faster and easier!

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Documents To Show To Your Bankruptcy Attorney" Aug. 12, 2014

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