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  • Writer's pictureJovanna Bearden

What should I bring to a consultation about bankruptcy?

After scheduling that much anticipated first meeting with a bankruptcy attorney, you want to be prepared so you can get as much information as possible out of the meeting. Here are some suggestions on things to bring and information to have available when you talk to the attorney..

  1. Your tax returns for last year - the attorney will want to see what your income was for last year, how many dependents you claimed, and if you owed money or got a refund.

  2. Your last month’s paystubs - the attorney will want to see how much you are getting each paycheck, and what your year to date income has been.

  3. The value of your vehicles - the attorney will want to see how your vehicle equity will be handled in a bankruptcy.

  4. The payoff balance of any vehicle loans - the attorney will need this to calculate your vehicle equity.

  5. The value of your house - the attorney will want to see how your home equity will be handled in a bankruptcy.

  6. The payoff balance of your home mortgage - the attorney will need this to calculate your home equity

  7. The types of debts you have and the approximate amount of each category of debt - the attorney will use this information to see which type of bankruptcy will be best for your types of debt.

  8. If you owe taxes, the years you owe taxes and the amount owed each year - the attorney will use this to determine how bankruptcy will impact these debts and the best options you have for wiping out your tax debt.

  9. Legal documents you’ve received - Lawsuits you’ve been served with, foreclosure or repossession notices you’ve received, garnishment notices you’ve received, or any other similar documents. The attorney needs to know how much time they have to get your bankruptcy prepared and filed to protect your assets and your rights.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, this should give you an idea of the types of information and documents that an attorney will be looking for at your initial bankruptcy consultation. Don’t let this list overwhelm you. If you can’t find all of these documents, that’s ok - still go to your consultation!

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