Preparing For Your Meeting With A Bankruptcy Attorney
Help Us To Help You: Preparing For Your Bankruptcy Consultation
Filing for bankruptcy requires you to divulge a lot of financial information as well as personal information. As your lawyers, we need to understand the big picture and the small details to present your case in the best possible light to the Bankruptcy Court.
Please be assured that anything you disclose to us is strictly confidential. We understand that some topics may be embarrassing or uncomfortable, but we are only here to help, not to judge. Full and accurate disclosure is critical, as withholding information or shielding assets can derail your bankruptcy. We don’t ask anything that the bankruptcy judge might not ask.
Below is a checklist to prepare for your first meeting with our attorney, Tom Root. Address as many items as you can. We can’t go forward with your bankruptcy filing until we have all the information, and we want to help you get debt relief as soon as possible. Whether you are filing jointly for bankruptcy or as an individual, information on both spouses is required:
- Name and date of birth (both spouses)
- Names, ages and date of birth of your children
- Copies of your driver’s license, Social Security card and birth certificates
- Employers’ names and dates of employment
- Education, certifications and employment history
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- A timeline of key events in your marriage
- Previous marriages or legal proceedings
- Income of each spouse (wages and other sources)
- Copies of your three most recent paystubs
- Copies of your state and federal tax returns for the last three years
- Details of all bank accounts (checking and savings)
- Details of retirement accounts (401k, IRA, pension)
- Details on stocks, bonds and investments
- Market value and remaining balance on vehicles owned
- Valuables such as guns, jewelry or artwork
- An inventory of major household possessions (furniture, appliances, golf clubs, etc.)
- Market value and remaining mortgage balance of your house and other real estate
- Credit card numbers and balances
- All other loans and debts (secured or unsecured)
- Recent major purchases, including vacations
- A breakdown of monthly expenses
- Prior bankruptcy filings or creditor judgments
- Any red flags such as chemical dependency, gambling addiction, criminal convictions
After we meet with you to get the broad strokes, we may ask for additional information or documentation as we prepare your bankruptcy petition. Then Mr. Root will meet with you to review everything before we file the papers.
Do You Have Questions For Us?
The bankruptcy process involves many confusing legal terms, or you may have specific questions about bankruptcy exemptions or dischargeable debts. As you are gathering information, keep a list of questions and concerns to ask when we meet. You can always count on us for honest and straightforward answers.