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That’s a lot of information I need to get for you; what if I can’t find it?


Get it anyway. A lot of it we cannot get or do for you. Beginning October 16, 2006 one out of every two hundred fifty bankruptcy cases filed will be audited by the US Justice Department on a random basis to see what was used to prepare the bankruptcy files. Also, lots of things we need to tell the bankruptcy court can only be provided by specific documents we have requested. You should be keeping most of the things we need anyway, at least in the future when your life gets back on track. Also, most things we need are at the courthouse, the tax office, your other attorney’s office, or in your creditors file.

This may require a little work on your part; you actually may have to make some phone calls or send emails or letters. Sometimes it takes time to file bankruptcy cases because you cannot get the information you need. A good example would be tax returns. We have to have them. If, for example, you haven’t filed the last 4 years’ tax returns with the appropriate taxing authority, then you need to do them. How can you expect a bankruptcy lawyer or anyone to tell you what is going to happen with your taxes when you don’t even know what you owe or if you owe taxes?

I do realize that there are going to be some things that you just cannot access. However, most things can be found and most of our clients actually find what we need and just have to be prodded.

Keep in mind that the bankruptcy court can throw out your case for your failure to keep good records. This is rare but, if you file shoddy schedules with the bankruptcy court and then can’t fix them or provide supporting data within the usual 10 days the court gives you to clean up your messy paperwork, you are opening yourself up for an objection. Why do that? Take the time and do it right the first time. Under the new bankruptcy law, you may not get a second chance.




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    No, not unless you committed a crime in the creation of the debt (for example, fraud). Simply borrowing money and not being able to pay it back is not a crime. Many creditors representatives will tell you lies on the telephone and say that they will have you put in jail. Perhaps they are too ignorant to know they are wrong or that it is illegal for them even to say that. See More Bankruptcy Q&A