Bankruptcy attorney Ben Tobey answering the question: When is it better to file bankruptcy instead of working with my creditors to settle my debts?
Throughout recent history, the American perception around filing for bankruptcy is changing. While the decision to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is not one that should be taken lightly, the general stigma surrounding the decision is not as prevalent as it once was, and many Americans today understand that bankruptcy can be a strategic way to reorganize debt and give citizens a fresh start on their financial journey.
In 2020, there were over 500,000 bankruptcy filings in the United States. While this often translates into an abundance of work for experienced bankruptcy attorneys, for the average citizen it can be a challenging process to navigate. While consulting with your hired legal counsel is always the preferred course of action, there are certainly some general points to keep in mind when preparing to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina. Read on to discover what North Carolina residents need to know about filing for bankruptcy.
Tax Return Requirements
To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in North Carolina, you will need two years of tax return statements. The requirement doubles to four years of tax returns for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In addition, an official tax transcript must be ordered from the IRS if you cannot provide copies of your returns.
When filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina, your local administration office will need original copies of a driver’s license, government ID card, or US passport. Ensure the name on your bankruptcy application matches your name on these documents. In addition, an original Social Security Card or proof of a Social Security number will be required.
Other Required Documents
In addition to the tax return verification mentioned above, individuals will need to provide other historical documents as well. Prospective bankruptcy filers will need to furnish proof of income from an employer for the past six months (in the form of paycheck stubs). Any other proof of income over the past six months (e.g. unemployment benefits, alimony or child support payments, or other miscellaneous income) must be presented as well.
Many bankruptcy courts will also require filers to furnish bank statements from all relevant accounts over the prior two months at least, but this can vary in length; some courts may require a longer history. Finally, any investment and retirement accounts will need to have records from at least the past two months made available.
For Business Owners
If you own a business, the application process for bankruptcy in North Carolina will demand of you a few additional documents. You will need to furnish twelve monthly profit and loss statements for your business, as well as two annual statements. Additionally, copies of any current liability insurance policies will need to be presented as well.
When to Contact an Attorney
The process of filing for bankruptcy is complex, and even by following all of the aforementioned tips, many filers will still have questions or encounter challenges in the filing process. Therefore, many individuals choose to work with experienced bankruptcy attorneys.
For years, the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have been helping residents in Charlotte and North Carolina get through the bankruptcy process the right way. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for guided insight into your unique situation. Get a phone, in-person or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers, or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
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