What To Expect At Your Initial Bankruptcy Consultation

Do you know what information is needed or what you need to bring to your initial Bankruptcy Consultation?

If you answered no, you are not alone.  There is a lot of information that needs to be collected in order to put together a bankruptcy file and petition.  Your attorney will need to review this information and perform  calculations that will help your case be successful in obtaining your bankruptcy discharge.

bankruptcy consultation

It is best to provide your attorney with all of this information at your initial meeting; however, you will typically have more time to get everything together.  Below is a list of information that everyone should have ready for review at their initial bankruptcy consultation:

1. Pay stubs for the past six months.  Having this information at your initial consultation will help determine which bankruptcy you are eligible to file.  This information is needed for the “means test” (the calculations) portion of your case.

2. Up to the last four years of your federal income tax returns.  In a Chapter 13 case you will need four years; in a Chapter 7 case you will need the most recent year’s tax filing.

3. Copies of recorded deeds, recorded mortgages and motor vehicle titles for assets that are titled in your name.

4. Put together a list of your current debts.  This is easier if you obtain copies of your credit reports, which give a current snapshot of your debt that is reported to the credit bureaus.  I always ask clients to review the reports to see if any known debts are not represented and then provide copies of the bills left off.  A lot of the time medical bills, utility accounts, payday loans/cash advances are not reported to the credit bureaus.

5. Any legal documents that would affect your property.  Documents such as lawsuits, divorce decrees, mortgage foreclosure paperwork, etc. are important to provide at your bankruptcy consultation.

6. Fill out a bankruptcy questionnaire provided by Attorney David J. Smith.  This document will help gather together all of the information needed to file your case; listing personal property, putting together a monthly budget, and other questions describing your current situation.

It is important to gather this information quickly and provide all of it to your attorney – especially when facing a lawsuit, garnishment, or sheriff sale that you are trying to stop.  A successful bankruptcy case begins at the initial bankruptcy consultation.