What if I want to apply for bankruptcy but do not have most of my documents? 5 Answers as of October 25, 2010

I want to declare bankruptcy but my financial life is very, very disorganized. I don't keep most of my receipts and I only have saved a couple pay stubs over the past few years because I didn't expect to need them. Are these necessary to have in order when I meet with an attorney?

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Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
Typically, the documents you need will be recent pay stubs and tax returns. Other documents can always be located by contacting banks and other financial institutions, or via the Internet.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/25/2010
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
In order to receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 case you are required to have kept or preserved any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, from which your financial condition or business transactions might be ascertained, unless otherwise justified under all the circumstances of the case.

So, does this mean you must have all your receipts, etc? No, but you need to have a justifiable basis for not having something.

Paystubs and other proof of income for the 6 months prior to filing are absolutely required for an attorney to do their due diligence in your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2010
Builders Law Group
Builders Law Group | Nick Campbell
In my practice, I generally require the client to bring all pertinent documents with them to the initial meeting. You won't likely need pay stubs going that far back but you will need to gather up generally about the last six months of paystubs plus two years of tax returns. Other documents depend on what assets you have, which type of bankruptcy you're going to file, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
Most attorneys will require these do unsure before they file your case but they don't need them to start the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2010
Sussman & Associates
Sussman & Associates | Mitchell Sussman
These are items that you should have in order to do your case justice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2010
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