Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Steven Speier is a CPA and will often ask for extra information from the debtor, especially if the debtor has a business or a corporation. Mr. Speier will give the debtor a list of items to provide. These items include the last four years of tax returns, the last two years of bank statements on all accounts, profit and loss, balance sheets and all Quikbooks files.
I have seen this request be given several times over the last few years and the amount of documents is usually large when tendered to the trustee. The teaching point here is that if your client has or had a business or is or was involved in a corporation, the prudent attorney will ask for all of this information at the time of intake. Yes, it will take time to gather, but it is time well spent. Prior to filing the case, your client is motivated to get everything to you. After the case is filed, the motivation decreases and it is more difficult for you to get extra information from your client.
It is easier to get your client to gather all the possible information prior to filing the case rather than after the case is filed. My suggestion is to follow Mr. Speier’s requirements for businesses or corporations. Plan to have all these documents in your file. If the Trustee does not ask for the documents, then there is no harm.
However, if the Trustee does ask for the documents, you will have the documents in your file and the Trustee will have what he needs to review. The information can be timely relayed which will help the trustee and will show that you have anticipated the questions and your client have confidence in you for thinking ahead.