If you plan to meet with a bankruptcy attorney for an initial consultation, you should prepare questions and bring certain documents. This consultation is a good opportunity to learn more about the bankruptcy filing process and figuring out if this is a good option for you.
The more information the attorney has during the first meeting, the better he or she will assess your case.
The basic paperwork
The most helpful documents to bring with you include proof of income, income tax returns, household expenses and a list of debts. You can prove your income with pay stubs from your job, workers compensation documentation, Social Security, child support, retirement or any self-employment earnings. Your list of debts should include credit card statements, student loans, mortgages, vehicle and personal loans, medical bills and even if you received a summons.
For your household expenses list any living necessities such as clothes, utilities, medical, food, rent, insurance premiums and any other monthly payments.
Additional helpful items
In addition to the basic documents mentioned, you should also bring any other financial information that you have accessible. For example, record a list of the creditors that you owe money to, any large personal property items subject to repossession, information on real property, valuations of all your major assets and any other relevant financial information.
Forgetting a document
If you are unable to locate certain paperwork, let the attorney know as soon as possible so he or she can make note of it and help you. There is no need to panic as courts will typically give you additional time to gather all of the necessary documents and resources.
Overall, bankruptcy proceedings are fairly lengthy, so the time you put into gathering the appropriate documents for your initial consultation will help expedite the process.