A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins with the filing of a simple petition for relief with the bankruptcy court, but that’s the easy part. Without the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Glendale, California, the paperwork and the process involved in filing a consumer bankruptcy case is daunting. A typical consumer (a person with primarily consumer debts) who files bankruptcy must file or submit many documents, and some of the key documents are complex and difficult to understand.

For debtors that live in Glendale, your bankruptcy case will be part of the Los Angeles bankruptcy court system. The Bankruptcy Law Center is a firm of highly experienced bankruptcy lawyers and we handle bankruptcy cases for consumers in the Glendale area.

When we represent you, we efficiently plan your case, then we guide you through the process, prepare all of the required documents correctly and get you the relief you deserve. The process requires many critical decisions on your pare, expert legal advice so that you make the right choices for your situation, and then careful follow through and legal representation during and after the administrative and court proceedings.

But if you are wondering about some of the paperwork that your lawyer will handle for you, with input provided by you, here is just a taste of what is involved. Along with your bankruptcy petition, you must also file, collect or present a number of other forms, statements, documents or information including:

  • A schedule of assets and liabilities (a series of separate forms, some of which are referenced separately below)
  • A schedule of current income and expenditures
  • A statement of financial affairs
  • A schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases
  • A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of their claims;
  • The source, amount, and frequency of the debtor’s income;
  • A list of all of the debtor’s property; and
  • A detailed list of the debtor’s monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.
  • A schedule of “exempt” property. This is crucial because bankruptcy law allows an individual debtor to protect certain property from creditors because it is exempt under federal bankruptcy law or under the applicable state laws. Understanding these laws and applying the correct exemptions (or applying multiple exemptions to the same property when allowed) is one of the most important things your lawyer will do as part of planning your case before you file.
  • You will also need to give the trustee assigned to your case a copy of the tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year,
  • Copies of any tax returns that you file during the case and any returns for prior years that hadn’t been filed when your case was first filed with the bankruptcy court
  • A certificate of credit counseling,
  • Evidence of payment from employers received within 60 days of filing
  • A statement of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing
  • Records that relate to any qualified education or tuition accounts you may have
  • Individuals must also state on a form whether they intend to keep property that is subject to continuing contracts or leases.
  • Married individuals must gather this information for their spouse regardless of whether they are filing a joint petition, separate individual petitions, or even if only one spouse is filing. In a situation where only one spouse files, the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse are required so that the court, the trustee and creditors can evaluate the household’s financial position

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will efficiently handle the documents and the process for you and will properly advise you on the important decisions you will make before and during your bankruptcy case. While the documents that become part of a bankruptcy case are extensive, there’s much more to the process than a huge stack of paper. It’s your fresh financial start and you have one opportunity to get it right and to truly start fresh. If you live in Glendale, California, give us a call today and we’ll make sure you get the best help along the way to your new financial life.