Preparing for a Bankruptcy Consultation with a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision. One of the most intimidating aspects of the process is meeting with your bankruptcy attorney. Being prepared and having all of the necessary documents and information with you for your first meeting can make things go as smoothly as possible.
What should you bring with you to your bankruptcy consultation?
Debts and Bankruptcy
Your bankruptcy attorney will need to know about your debts. He or she will review this information and determine which debts should be included on your bankruptcy filing. Some debts are not discharged in bankruptcy, but your attorney still needs to be aware they exist.
Debt information you should bring with you when you meet with a bankruptcy attorney includes:
- Up-to-date copy of your credit report
- Mortgage information
- Vehicle loan information
- Outstanding bills
- Most recent credit card statements
- Any documents related to child support, alimony payments, or other financial obligations you have
Assets and Income and Bankruptcy
Next, you’ll need to share information about your income and your assets with your bankruptcy attorney. This is important because it helps you and your attorney determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. To learn more about qualifying for bankruptcy, check out this information about the bankruptcy means test.
Sharing asset information with your attorney ensures he or she can list any assets you want to be exempted and protected from the bankruptcy trustee when you file.
Asset and income information you should share with your attorney includes:
- Recent pay stubs
- Up-to-date checking and savings account information
- Income tax returns for the past three to five years
- Titles and deeds to the property you own
Sharing Information from Debt Collectors and Creditors in Bankruptcy
Finally, you’ll want to share information about the status of your debts and any notifications you’ve received from debt collectors or creditors with your bankruptcy attorney. This way your attorney will have a complete picture of the status of your financial situation and he or she can determine how urgent things are for you.
Bring along any correspondence you’ve received concerning your debts, including:
- Delinquent notices
- Warnings or notifications about legal action
- Notifications of foreclosure
- Notifications of repossessions
- Information concerning the threat of wage garnishment or account levies
Information You Need from Your Bankruptcy Attorney
In addition to the information you need to provide to your attorney, it’s also a good idea to bring along any questions you have about filing for bankruptcy. Knowing what you want to ask in advance saves time and helps keep your meeting on track.
If you aren’t sure what questions you have, don’t worry. But if there are things you aren’t sure about or if certain concerns are pressing on your mind, now is the time to ask those questions.
Deciding to File for Bankruptcy
The decision to file for bankruptcy can feel intense. Bankruptcy attorneys understand this and most work hard to put their clients at ease. Having an attorney on your side during this challenging time can make a great deal of difference when it comes to the emotional toll bankruptcy takes on a person. It also makes practical matters, such as meeting court deadlines and properly filling out paperwork much easier.