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Fourteen things you can do to kick-start the New Jersey bankruptcy process

If you contact a consumer bankruptcy lawyer, they should tell you exactly what they need to do your bankruptcy.

But I decided to list a variety of things that will help kick-start your bankruptcy case. Here are fourteen of them:

1. Gather your last 6 months’ worth of paystubs or other proof of income;

2. Have ready the details of your last bankruptcy filing, if any, including the date of filing and the case number;

3. Gather your last 3 to 6 months’ worth of credit card statements and bank statements from all accounts, including checking, savings, retirement, CDs, IRAs, investment accounts, money market accounts, etc.;

4. Gather all the collection letters that you have received in the past few months;

5. Gather copies of all bills on which you are behind in paying;

6. Gather basic information on these types of debt (if you still owe them, even if you’re current on payments): Student loans, back taxes, alimony, child support, criminal fines and restitution; debts resulting from fraud; and divorce or property settlement debt;

7. Gather information regarding any cash advances or balance transfers you had in the past few months;

8. Get a copy of last year’s tax return or tax transcript;

9. Gather information on all of your most valuable property, such as expensive jewelry;

10. If your last year’s tax filing is overdue, file that return so the amount you owe or the refund you are owed can be determined;

11. If you own real property, gather the deed and mortgage and home equity loan papers;

12. If you have a car, gather any loan documents or lease documents on that car;

13. If you have any secured debt, gather the papers relating to it;

14. Get your picture ID and your Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number;

Remember, disclosure is a key to a successful bankruptcy case. If you don’t disclose, you may not get all the exemptions to which you are entitled. Tell your bankruptcy lawyer everything about your financial situation, especially if you borrowed money from a relative.

Photo by meddygarnet.

If you are in New Jersey and considering bankruptcy, please call Jennifer Weil for a free telephone consultation at 201-676-0722.

7 Responses to Fourteen things you can do to kick-start the New Jersey bankruptcy process
  1. Melinda
    January 6, 2010 | 12:58 pm

    Great list. We also get copies of any lawsuits or garnishments. In addition, we ask that clients bring the last two years of tax returns so that we can answer question 1 on the statement of financial affairs correctly. Clients also need to be prepared to supply income information on their spouse if the client is filing an individual case.

  2. jweil
    January 6, 2010 | 1:14 pm

    Those are great points, Melinda.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Rustin Polk
    January 7, 2010 | 9:46 am

    Jennifer, great info as always!

    When people have lost their social security card, they can apply for a new one with form SS5 at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

  4. jweil
    January 7, 2010 | 10:33 am

    Thanks, Rustin! Good point about getting a replacement Social Security card.

  5. Malcolm Ruthven
    January 8, 2010 | 7:39 am

    Thanks for this article, Jennifer. I send clients a checklist of things to gather together but having an online list for their use prior to becoming a client is a very good idea. I’m going to link to this article from my site so “my people” can read it.

  6. […] attorney. You'll save yourself time and prevent delays in your case if you follow her advice. Click here to read her article. January 8th, 2010 in Bankruptcy | tags: Documents, […]

  7. Bankruptcy Lawyers Hicksville NY
    March 14, 2011 | 8:54 am

    Very nice informative about bankruptcy lawyers help people who can’t pay their creditors for no longer pay get a fresh start to pay their debts or by creating a new repayment plan.

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