What should I bring with me to my bankruptcy consultation?
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, one of the first steps you should take is meeting with a bankruptcy attorney in your area to find out whether bankruptcy is the best option for you. Your initial consultation will allow you to meet your potential new bankruptcy lawyer and ask some of the many questions you may have. It is important that you enter your initial consultation armed with some critical information and documents so that you can make the most out of the meeting.
Your First Consultation Will Likely Be Free
Many bankruptcy attorneys will offer clients an initial free consultation. During this consult, you will be provided with a general overview of your bankruptcy case and, depending on the information you provide, you could also discuss your particular bankruptcy facts. Use your initial consultation to obtain the maximum amount of information necessary to proceed with your bankruptcy case, if you decide this is your best course of action.
Proof of Income
In order to qualify for bankruptcy, you will need to meet certain income limitations. You will also need to prove your average monthly gross income for the last six months. You can help kick start your bankruptcy case by bringing with you all pay stubs or records of income for the past six or seven months. You should also consider bringing a copy of your banking records for recent months.
Income Tax Returns
You will need to show that you have filed your income tax returns for the last two years in order to file for bankruptcy. If you have filed, bring copies of your income tax returns for the last two years. Anyone who has not filed should get started with filing your past returns, which your attorney can help you with.
Expenses and Debt List
Not all debts can be erased in a bankruptcy. As such, you will want to provide your bankruptcy lawyer with a list of the nature and amount of your debts. By calculating your debt load, your attorney can also better assess whether bankruptcy is your answer. You should further include a list of your household expenses, including your mortgage, child support, utility services, car payments, and the like. Coming prepared to your first bankruptcy consultation and your attorney meetings thereafter will put your bankruptcy lawyer in a better position to thoroughly assist you.