Bankruptcy Checklist

Important Bankruptcy Information

At the Law Office of Lawrence L. Szabo, our lawyers and staff have created the following page as a resource for current and potential clients. If you are going through a bankruptcy, it is very important to know what you need to begin and understanding credit counseling, debtor's education, and the dangers of committing fraud.

What You Need

For any bankruptcy, you need to compile a whole host of documents. Attorney Lawrence L. Szabo can assist you much more efficiently if you bring him the following:

  • The last 6 months of paycheck stubs
  • The last 6 months of bank statements and 6 months of check register, including to whom the checks were written
  • Tax returns for the last 3 years
  • All bills for the past 90 days
  • Credit report: you can get your credit report for free at Other services will make you pay a fee.
  • Copies of any lawsuits
  • Proof of income from any and all sources, including part time work, Social Security, etc.
  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Proof of your identity, including a social security card and a photo ID

Credit Counseling

Also, before you undergo a bankruptcy, you must get credit counseling. This requirement came into effect in 2005, along with many other changes to bankruptcy law. As of this writing, the authorized providers of credit counseling for Oakland, Alameda County, and Contra Costa County are as follows:

The above is taken from the U.S. Trustee Program's Web site, which keeps an updated list for all jurisdictions of the United States.

Keep in mind that after you get credit counseling, you have 6 months to get an attorney and undergo bankruptcy. If you do not do so within 6 months, you will need to take credit counseling again.

Debtor's Education

In addition to credit counseling before you file for bankruptcy, you must enroll in debtor's education after you file. If you do not, your debts cannot be discharged. Be sure to complete debtor's education within a certain period of time, or your case could be reopened, which can be expensive.

The same companies that handle credit counseling handle debtor's education. See the above list or go to the U.S. Trustee Program's Web site Typically, when you finish credit counseling, the company will frequently remind you that you must undergo debtor's education.

The Dangers of Committing Fraud

At Law Office of Lawrence L. Szabo, we make sure to warn each client about the dangers of committing fraud within bankruptcy. If you conceal assets or lie on any forms, you will be subject to prosecution.

Before you begin the bankruptcy process, you must sign forms that explain the bankruptcy code, along with the dangers of committing fraud. The forms are called the Section 342-B Notice, Supplement 527-A, and Supplement 527-B. See our Forms page for copies of these documents.

Contact Us

If you have questions about any of the above, please contact us any time. We offer all new clients free initial consultations with an experienced lawyer, and are always available to help existing clients.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.