Your initial bankruptcy consultation is an important time to learn about the process and to get answers to your questions. Filing for bankruptcy relief is an important decision you have to make. Bankruptcy can help turn your financial life around. There is a lot of information you will need to put together and provide your attorney. The first meeting will probably not be your last. However, you want to make sure you make the most of this initial meeting.
In my opinion it is best to get a list of information you need to bring to your meeting at the same time you schedule this appointment. Now you do not need to bring anything with you at this time, but the more information the better. If you think you are bringing too much information to this appointment you are probably wrong. The quicker you provide all of the information your attorney requests for your case the sooner your attorney can file your case.
Information that everyone should have ready for their initial bankruptcy consultation:
- Six months of pay stubs. This information is necessary to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this information will help decide how long your plan will last.
- Tax Returns. For a Chapter 7 case you need to provide the most recent tax filing. In a Chapter 13 case you will need to be current on the past four years.
- Copies of recorded deeds, recorded mortgages and motor vehicle titles for assets that are titled in your name.
- A list of your current debts. I advise clients to go to www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain your free annual credit reports. This is the quickest way to get a list of your creditors. When reviewing your credit reports make note of any creditors or bills that are not showing up on your reports. You will need to provide current bills for creditors not appearing on the credit reports.
- Any legal documents that affect your property. Documents such as pending lawsuits, divorce decrees, mortgage foreclosure paperwork, etc. are important to provide at your bankruptcy consultation.
- A bankruptcy questionnaire. I try to email a questionnaire to clients prior to the intial meeting. This gives you time to go through and fill out the questionnaire prior to meeting. At the very least we will provide this document to you at the first meeting and go through the questionnaire from beginning to end.
This is not an end all be all list. Everyone’s case is different so there may be additional information requested after the consultation depending on your specific situation. Remember, a successful bankruptcy case begins at the initial bankruptcy consultation.