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What documents do I need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Baltimore, MD |

We're looking to meet with a bankruptcy attorney for the first time, and aren't sure what we need to gather to bring with us. Is there anything special we need for Chapter 7 as opposed to other types of bankruptcy?

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Attorney answers 6


For the intital consultation, I tell people they need to have a good understanding of what their situation is and how they got into that situation. No specific documents needed for the first consult. I am glad to hear you are retaining an attorney to assist you. The money you spend will likley be worth it. Good luck!

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It really depends on the lawyer you select. When you make an appointment with a lawyer ask what documents that lawyer likes to see at the initial consultation. The one thing I can tell you is that at the end of the meeting, assuming you retain the lawyer you are going to receive a long list of documents he wants, a long list of questions to answer, a set of instructions of how he wants things done and usually other things such a how to handle calls from creditor's so they will stop calling you.


Call and ask! Attorneys usually have definite office practices, and their support staff are generally trained not to commit homicide when clients ask questions like this.


In general, when I first meet with a client all I ask them to have is a fundamental understanding of their assets and debts and income and expenses. Writing these four lists in advance of the meeting will generally be very helpful for the attorney and illuminating for the client.

As it's been said before, almost every bankruptcy lawyer in the Baltimore area offers a free consultation. Make sure the lawyer you see takes the time to answer all of your questions.


In general we ask our new clients to bring some recent paystubs and their most recent tax returns to their initial meeting. It also helps if you have a list of your creditors and an idea of your assets.


Attorneys vary somewhat in terms of what they'll want for the initial consultation, but here's a concise list that should for most Chapter 7 cases include most of what might be requested of you:

1.All pay stubs for last 6 months
2.All 1040’s, W-2’s, and 1099’s for 2010 and 2011
3.List of monthly expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, phone/cable/internet, food, clothing, medical, etc.)
4.List of creditors, including dollar amount and account number (if possible, include most recent statement or invoice).
5.Monthly mortgage statement (if applicable) and appraisal (if available)
6.Monthly car loan statement or coupon book (if applicable)
7.Most recent 401K / 403(B) retirement plan statement (if applicable)
8.Most recent statement for any insurance policies having cash/surrender value
9.Information on any lawsuits (if applicable)

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