Bankruptcy provides a practical solution to individuals or businesses that are unable to pay their debts. The bankruptcy process can also help with rebuilding credit and structuring a new, positive, and financially healthy way of life. Bankruptcy is a very helpful process, but if you have decided to investigate this option, you should understand that it is very document-intensive. In this article, we discuss the documents you will need to bring with you when attending your bankruptcy consultation.

bankruptcy consultation near me

A bankruptcy lawyer cannot make a determination about your eligibility for bankruptcy without thoroughly reviewing your financial background and understanding your current situation. Many documents will be required for this initial assessment – but after you’ve decided to file, you may be required to provide additional documents to determine what Chapter of bankruptcy is appropriate.

In many cases, you may not have the documents you need on hand. You may have to communicate with other parties, such as banks, lenders, employers, financial advisors, or other attorneys. The most critical aspect of collecting documentation is that you want to avoid any unintended fraud or failure to disclose assets or documents. In the end, if you have acted in good faith and made a reasonable effort to obtain a required document, you shouldn’t have any issues in regard to potential misrepresentation or fraud.

The following is a list of documents that most experts recommend that an individual bring to their initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney:

  • Financial documentation, including bank account statements, receipts for significant purchases, income and wage statements, and recent tax returns
  • A comprehensive listing of those creditors that are owed money, including contact information, account numbers, and current balance
  • Any outstanding loan statements, including student loans, mortgages, and vehicle loans
  • A list of significant personal property that may be subject to repossession, such as vehicles, expensive jewelry, recreational equipment, major appliances, or electronics equipment
  • Documents related to real property, either owned or leased

In addition to the above list, additional documents may be required when business owners are considering bankruptcy for their company, such as:

  • Company balance sheets, budget reports, financial statements
  • A comprehensive list of company property
  • Any financial information that may be relevant to the bankruptcy
  • A valuation of all major assets, including property, vehicles, or other expensive assets

If you have a consultation scheduled and you have questions about what to bring, ask your attorney.

A successful bankruptcy filing requires that you are entirely honest and transparent with your attorney. Be sure to write down any questions regarding the legal issues and processes you will be experiencing. The more thorough you are at your consultation, the easier the bankruptcy process will be.

What if a Document is Missing – or Not Brought to the Consultation?

If you can’t find a specific document required for your bankruptcy filing or if you forgot to bring a required document to your attorney’s consultation, inform your bankruptcy attorney as promptly as possible. They will keep track of what is needed or take appropriate action.

If you forgot to include some information in your filing, don’t panic. Be honest and forthcoming, and the court will typically provide additional time to gather the needed documents and resources needed for the process.

Richard V. Ellis is Here to Help

Richard V. Ellis has helped hundreds of area residents regain financial health and independence through bankruptcy—and it all begins with an initial consultation. Call today to schedule an appointment so we can discuss your situation and recommend any actions that may help you get back on your feet.