Any person can file bankruptcy without the help of an attorney. However, due to the long term financial and legal outcomes of bankruptcy, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced and qualified attorney.
There are different ways in which your attorney can assist with your case, according to Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. For instance: “the lawyer can advise you on whether you need to file bankruptcy petition and under which chapter to file, advise you on whether your debts can be discharged and give you the probability of keeping your properties such as home or cars after filing, provide an advice on the tax consequences of filing and also advise you on whether you need to continue to pay creditors, give an explanation of bankruptcy laws and procedures to you, help you to complete and file forms and finally, assist you with mist aspects of your bankruptcy case.”
In case you opt to file personal bankruptcy you must understand the bankruptcy law under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Before you begin your journey you need to gather all your financial documents. The documents will give you an overview of the current state of your finances. You should obtain a copy of the credit report form at AnnualCreditReport.com. either form Transunion, Equifax or Experian. Always remember to include all other debts such as personal loans that are not listed on the credit report.
Other documents that you will need include: tax returns for the past 2 years, recent bank account statements, pay stubs or other proof of your income for the last 6 months, valuations or appraisals of any real estate you own, recent retirement account or brokerage account statements, copies of vehicle registration and other documents depicting your income, assets, and debts.
It is advisable you take your time to understand the bankruptcy laws and have an accurate picture of your financial status before you consider yourself bankrupt and proceed to file for bankruptcy.