When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy it is crucial that the debtor is totally forthcoming in all aspects when disclosing their financial information. This includes disclosing information about absolutely every asset they own or even have interest in, as well as every liability and debt they owe. All creditors large or small need to be listed. Along with their bankruptcy attorney, the debtor will need to provide the bankruptcy trustee with specific financial information as well. This includes proof of income such as pay stubs, W-2’s, and maybe even tax returns. The debtor’s bankruptcy attorney will be able to assist the debtor in making sure all of the required information is gathered and added to the bankruptcy petition, and that the petition is prepared properly. If everything is completed accurately and according to the law, the debtor should complete the bankruptcy process smoothly and receive a discharge from the bankruptcy court indicating that their debts were discharged or uncollectible. Many debtors emerge from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy virtually, if not completely in some cases, debt free and on their way to a new beginning.
Also when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must be completely honest with the bankruptcy trustee as well. If they are not, or they are suspected of hiding something by not disclosing all of the required information, they can be charged with bankruptcy fraud. In order to avoid this from happening the debtor must make sure that they give their bankruptcy attorney full disclosure of all personal and business finances, as well as pay attention to the court’s concerns and requests. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can offer realistic expectations of outcomes while preparing the debtor to address any possible indescrepancies as well as questions or concerns the bankruptcy court may have. As long as the debtor is prepared and has been completely honest, the filing process should go accordingly. Filing bankruptcy is not intended as punishment for fiscal mismanagement, but as a fresh start for people overwhelmed by serious debt.