Bankruptcy is a highly complex process, which is why you have hired an attorney. When filing for bankruptcy, it is important to note that it will affect your credit and property. While stressful, having the right attorney and being prepared for what comes next is your best defense.
During your consultation, there are documents that you must bring to your bankruptcy attorney. The more information you provide to him or her, the easier the process will be in terms of determining which bankruptcy option is best for your situation, organizing the information, and filing the necessary paperwork.
Financial Records to Bring
Financial records are the first documents to bring to your appointment, and they are by far the most important. These records help your attorney decide if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is best. For example, if you have regular income and loans that are not applicable for Chapter 7, your attorney may advise to file Chapter 13 instead.
A few financial documents to bring along include:
- Your last few bank statements.
- All recent bills from creditors (whether including them in the bankruptcy or not).
- Your most recent payments on vehicles, loans, and your home.
- Bills and invoices for any purchases you have made in the last year.
- Receipts for anything you have recently purchased.
Legal Records to Bring
If you have any pending litigation involving you or your spouse, you must disclose this to your attorney. Previous judgments will have debts that could factor into your bankruptcy. These will help your attorney determine which bankruptcy type is best. Pending court orders for judgments should also be brought to the attention of your attorney right away. While you will receive the automatic stay when you file, these actions are already in the process of completion; therefore, your attorney must act on them immediately.
Some legal records to bring include:
- Files from past litigation.
- Judgments or liens already entered against you.
- Pending judgments and liens.
- Divorce decrees or court orders that require you to pay alimony or child support.
Extra Documents to Find and Bring Along
You must go through an asset evaluation and income assessment to qualify for certain types of bankruptcy filings. The income determination is what decides if you can repay your debts, or if you have insufficient income to repay anything.
Some more documentation to bring to help your attorney decide which route is best includes:
- Canceled checks for expenses that you have no receipts for.
- Insurance policies.
- Any correspondence you have with creditors.
- Any promissory notes with your signature.
- Your mortgage or lease documents.
- Your past tax returns.
- Debts you owe to individuals that are not official debts on your credit report.
- Lawsuits that have been served to you.
- Proof that someone owes you money.
Ask Your Bankruptcy Attorney What Documents to Gather
When you schedule a consultation with Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary, P.S., our attorneys can tell you what documents to bring along to the consultation appointment. To get started, book your no-obligation consultation by calling our offices at 509-586-7797 or ask us a question online.