A Checklist of Information for Your Bankruptcy Consultation

Being prepared for your bankruptcy consultation is the key to success

Overcome with debt and feeling the frustration of today’s economy often the thought of filing for bankruptcy starts to seem like a viable option. Anyone thinking about filing will want to do some research and think about their options. If you reach the point that you think filing for bankruptcy is your best option you will want to plan a bankruptcy consultation with an attorney or a bankruptcy specialist. You will cover a large amount of information during a consultation so you want to have all the information they need at your fingertips. This bankruptcy consultation will help you understand the journey that you are about to embark on.

Use the following check list before you make a bankruptcy consultation appointment with a bankruptcy specialist.

List of debts.

  • You should make a simple list of every debt you owe, including mortgage and car payoff balances, loans, credit cards, overdrafts, bounced checks, loans from friends or family, medical bills or any other debt you might owe. The name of the creditor and the amount owed is the basic information you need for your consultation.

Bills.

  • As you go through your bills to put the list together for your consultation, you should gather your bills together since they will eventually be needed if you file bankruptcy. Put the bills into an envelope, bag or box. You don’t have to bring them to the consultation, but they will be needed if you go forward with filing a bankruptcy case.

Income records.

  • If you get a paystub from a job, you should bring your most recent paystub or your most typical/average paystub if your pay varies. Under the new law, we will need some documentation of all your incomes for the last six months so if you have them, bring it. If you work for yourself, don’t get a paystub, or don’t have the information, please bring whatever records you have that will show what you have made over the last six months so you can decide on your options.

Legal documents.

  • If you were sued, have a foreclosure against you, were divorced with a separation agreement, or have any other legal documents that you think might be important, you should bring them with you to the consultation.

Car values.

  • Get a printout for ALL vehicles you own or are titled in your name, whether they are paid for or you are making payments. Please print the page from The National Automobile Dealers Association www.NADA.com and bring it with you.

House/land value.

  • If you own a house or other land, it is helpful to have a good idea of the value that you could sell it for. You should probably know this anyway. Appraisals for refinancing are often higher than true market value so you should not rely on those, but if you have had any recent appraisals, bring that too. Look in your neighborhood to see what similar houses/land is listed and selling price. Speak to realtors that are selling in your area. You can look online for comparative sales to get a general idea.

During your bankruptcy consultation you will go over your financial situation. The consultant will review your finances to determine if filing for bankruptcy is the best option for your situation. They will also explain the bankruptcy process to you during this visit. Filing for bankruptcy is a very involved process and it can take several months to complete. They will want to make sure that you are committed to completing the process and that you actually want to do it. You will be told about the filing requirements, the means test, the creditors meeting and the eventual discharge of your debt. Being prepared for this meeting is the key to a successful bankruptcy consultation and a smooth process when filing for bankruptcy.