When you decide to contact a bankruptcy professional and move forward with the bankruptcy process, you will be asked to fully disclose all of your financial information by way of determining your last 6 months of income and your average monthly expenses. This is usually done by providing your last 6 months of paystubs or a profit and loss for a business and also filling out a bankruptcy questionnaire that your attorney will provide for you. When you are filling out the questionnaire it is best to be as accurate as possible as there could be negative ramifications if the information is not disclosed correctly. Therefore while you can estimate your expenses when filing for bankruptcy, you should try to be as accurate as possible in case there is an audit and you are asked to prove your expenses.
For instance if you are somebody who may be borderline as to whether you will qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy or need to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy, having additional expenses in the areas of medical, child care or taking care of other family members abroad may have a big impact on what is called the means test. These additional expenses will also affect how much you spend per month in a chapter 13 repayment plan. For instance the government on the means test allows for a standard deduction of $60/person in medical expense. However if your family spends closer to $200/person due to a medical condition that is money that could be deducted from your monthly payments. Therefore as a bankruptcy lawyer, I always try to get people the lowest payments possible in a chapter 13 plan that could last for 5 years or squeeze them into a chapter 7 which has no payments and could last for 4 months, however full disclosure will go a long way in helping to determine whether what type of bankruptcy will be likely to be approved by the bankruptcy courts and the US Trustee.
If you have additional questions please contact Symmes Law Group at 206-682-7975 to schedule your Free initial consultation with a debt relief attorney.