Scheduling a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney is the first step toward reclaiming your life from debt and getting a fresh start. At the initial meeting, the lawyer will review your finances, identify your debt-relief options under the Bankruptcy Code, and explain what to expect if you decide to file for bankruptcy. The more information and documentation you bring, the more accurate and in-depth your bankruptcy attorney’s advice will be, so take some time to prepare before the meeting. In most Bankruptcy consultations, the client has reached the point where he/she must file. Therefore, complete, accurate, and truthful information is required.
How to Prepare for a Bankruptcy Consultation
Collect Your Documents
Bringing income and debt statements will help your attorney develop a more complete picture of your finances and provide a more detailed analysis. Along with your prior year’s tax returns, bring proof of income, either in the form of self-employment earning statements, pay stubs, or documentation for all other income sources, such as child support, disability, social security, pensions, retirement accounts, etc.
Proof of all assets is also required. Therefore, bring deeds, car titles, etc. to the first meeting to be copied for later use.
Your attorney will also need to see a complete list of your current debts, including the total amount due and any monthly payments. Collecting the latest statements for your credit cards, car loan, mortgage, past-due taxes, medical debt, and other liabilities will give the attorney the information they need. Often a credit report is necessary. You can access a free credit report online if you lack the necessary documentation. Copies of any Court-related papers, if you’ve been sued, are also helpful, including wage garnishment documents.
Prepare Your Questions
Complete financial documentation will help the attorney answer your questions and ultimately prepare your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules. The consultation is also an opportunity to ask questions of your own. For instance, you should ask which of your debts can be discharged in bankruptcy and whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would be best for you. Not all debts are dischargeable in Bankruptcy. Your attorney should also be able to tell you whether any of your property will be seized in bankruptcy, to pay creditors, and about required Court appearances.
The bankruptcy process can be intimidating, but Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney & Counselor at Law prides himself on making the law easy to understand. Over the course of nearly 40 years, this lawyer has helped countless clients throughout Rochester, NY, get the second chance everyone deserves. Visit him online to learn more about his debt relief services, get more legal tips on Twitter, or call (585) 546-5072 to speak to a member of the team.