Filing bankruptcy can be a very confusing process. Hopefully, when you meet with an attorney he or she will be able to fully evaluate your case and ease your concerns. In order to get a full evaluation, it is important to give the attorney a complete snapshot of your current financial situation. The following items are important to bring to your initial bankruptcy consultation so that your attorney gets a good outlook on your situation.
1. Six months of bank statements
This would be from all accounts that you and/or your spouse have an ownership interest in. In addition you should bring bank statements for any business that you own.
2. Six months pay stubs from all employers
This is part of what your attorney will need to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 filing. Bring yours and your spouse’s even if your spouse is not filing. If you are self-employed then you need to bring six months worth of profit and loss statements.
3. List of monthly expenses
Do the best you can to itemize all of your monthly expenses. Consider everything that you spend money on from obvious things like rent and utilities to less obvious items such as cigarettes and clothing, for example. Try to be realistic in what you spend your money on regardless of how much or how little you wish you spent on a particular item. If your net income exceeds your monthly expenses yet you don’t have money left at the end of the month then you have probably underestimated or omitted expenses.
4. The name, address, account number and balance for all creditors
Make a list so your lawyer doesn’t have to waste time going through unopened bills. Attach a statement for each creditor to your itemization. It is helpful to attach a credit report if you have one. If there are any pending lawsuits bring the complaint. For any lawsuits that have resulted in judgments make bring a copy.
5. An itemization of all your assets
Make a list of all assets along with a fair market value. For household goods, you should list the “garage sale value”. If you have proof of the value of your home or motor vehicle, bring that as well. Don’t forget about retirement accounts as well as future interests such as personal injury claims, inheritances, property settlement agreements, etc
6. Tax returns
Bring your federal tax return with attachments for the last two years. If you have a business that is incorporated bring the business tax returns for the last two years as well.