Filing for personal bankruptcy is a simple and straightforward process if you do some work to prepare before showing up at the courthouse. Below is a list of documents we ask all of our clients to work on pulling together before we file their case.
- A certificate of credit counseling from a credit counseling agency approved by the Eastern District of Wisconsin. You must complete a credit counseling course not more than 180 days before filing for bankruptcy.
- A copy of every pay stub (proof of each pay period) you have received over the past
seven months. Your employer should be able to provide you a copy of your pay stubs if you do not already have them.
If you have other income, write or type up a list describing it. Include any cash payments you have received.
- The complete and current address of all of your creditors (the people/companies to whom you owe money), including account number, the approximate amount you owe each of them, and the approximate date(s) you incurred each debt.
If a creditor has recently sent you a notice directing where notices should be sent in the event you file a bankruptcy, then you also need to provide us with that notice.
- Copies of state and federal tax returns for the 2 most recent tax years. If you have not filed tax returns for both of the 2 most recent tax years, then provide us with a copy of the tax return for the most recent year in which you did file.
- The state and federal tax returns for the most recent tax year for any business in which you hold an ownership interest (you do not need to provide us with tax returns for publicly traded companies in which you hold stock and in which you are not also an officer).
- A copy of the most recent real estate tax bill listing the tax assessed value for each parcel
of real estate in which you have an interest. For properties in the City of Milwaukee you can get that information by clicking here. For information on properties in other Wisconsin counties, click here.
- A copy of each recorded mortgage or recorded land contract on property in which you have an interest. You will likely have to visit the county courthouse for the county in which each property is located to get this information. Click here to see the addresses and official phone numbers of all the courthouses in the state.
- The recorded deed to each parcel of real estate in which you have an interest. This information is also available at the county courthouse in the county where the property is located.
- A copy of the title to each automobile on which your name(s) appears.
- A copy of the Vehicle Purchase and Finance Agreement (the car note) or lease for each vehicle that you are financing through a lender or leasing.
- A written/typed list of the name, address, and phone number of everyone to whom you owe a domestic support obligation (includes alimony, maintenance, or child support). Also include the amount you owe, the amount of any arrearage, and the amount of the monthly payment. If an Order has been entered with the court outlining your obligations, please provide a copy of the Order.
- A copy of any divorce decree entered within the last four years, or a divorce decree entered at any time if the property division has not been completed between you and your ex-spouse.
- A copy of any marital settlement agreement (“MSA”) if divorced in the last twelve (12) months
- Any marital property agreement (“MPA”) between yourself and your spouse.
- A written or typed description of any personal injury or worker’s compensation claim you may have and a copy of all accident reports related to the claim, a written or typed estimate of the value of the claim, and the name of the attorney(s) who represents you regarding such claim.
- Copies of bank statements from all bank accounts you, and/or your spouse if applicable, have used for the last six months.
- A copy of each promissory note secured by real estate you own, including your home. The promissory note is the document that states the amount borrowed, interest rate, installment payment amount, and due date of the loan. Your lender(s) should be able to provide you a copy of this information if you do not have it on hand.
- A copy of your social security card. If it is a joint filing, we will need a copy of your spouse’s social security card as well.
- Any other documents you think are relevant.
Sometimes it can be tricky to track this information down, so if you have any trouble, please reach out to our office and let us know.