If you decide to file for bankruptcy, there are a few things you’ll need to gather before you go to talk to your attorney. The more information you have at your first meeting, the easier it will be for your attorney to provide you with information on what to expect.
Having a good understanding of your finances is essential when you plan to enter into bankruptcy. To help with this, you should collect some of the following documents.
1. Bank statements
The first documents to collect are your bank statements. Showing what kind of money you have coming in and out of your accounts can help your attorney understand what you’re spending and how much you have coming in from your employment or other income sources.
While there is no specific number of statements you need, it is usually a good idea to bring at least six months’ worth of statements when you come to meet with your attorney.
2. Paystubs (or other proof of income)
If you’re still working, the next thing to collect is your history of payments. If you still receive paystubs, gather at least six months of those for your attorney to review. If you receive direct deposits and have no physical paystubs, you can opt to show proof of income in your bank statements instead. For those who might not have either, you may want to obtain PayPal statements, 1099 forms, your most recent tax return or other documents that can prove your income.
3. Copies of your bills
Finally, a third thing to bring is a copy of each of your bills. Bring copies of the bills you haven’t been able to pay on a regular basis as well as the bills you have been regularly paying.
These three types of items are what will give your attorney a chance to get an overall feel for your financial situation and if bankruptcy could help. If you have additional documents, like letters from creditors or a printout of everything you owe, these could be helpful as well. If you have questions, your attorney can give you a list of items to bring with you when you come to meet with them in the office.