Bring your Questions
Whether you plan to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and whether you are filing as an individual or a couple, you will no doubt have many questions and concerns. Before a bankruptcy consultation with an attorney, make a thorough and thoughtful list of questions to address during your meeting. This will both help to clarify the process and enable your individual story to emerge.
Some typical questions to ask a bankruptcy lawyer in the Bronx include the following:
- How long does the process take?
- Will I lose my house or car?
- How can I make the phone calls from creditors stop?
- Will I be able to retain any of my property and, if so, how much?
- How can I reestablish my credit?
Gather the necessary documentation
In addition to preparing a list of questions, you will also need to bring your financial records. Gathering this documentation is in many ways similar to filing your annual tax returns. We each have our own set of unique circumstances, income and debt. A carefully compiled list will enable your attorney to assess your situation and guide you more readily through the bankruptcy process.
Here is a list of the materials you should bring to the consultation:
- Your ID such as driver’s license, birth certificate, Social Security card or passport.
- Income statements such as W2’s, pay stubs and/or Social Security or disability income statements.
- If you are self-employed, two years of personal and business tax returns.
- All bank account, retirement, IRA or savings balances, even jewelry and any personal items of value.
- Anything related to real estate income, vehicle statements, alimony, etc.
- Your total expenses itemized whether they are work/business related, medical, household or child support. These expenses can include utility bills, transportation, home maintenance such as repairs to your house and appliances, clothing, food, and even pet care and contributions to charities.
- A complete and comprehensive listing of all of your debt.
Your attorney will also require debt-related documents and information including credit card statements, all outstanding loans, foreclosure information if applicable, and any medical debt or back child support owed.
Keep in mind that it is essential to be honest and forthcoming with your attorney. Bankruptcy fraud is a felony and vigorously prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Failing to report all sources of income, concealing valuables, or deliberately running up debt immediately prior to filing are some common examples of bankruptcy fraud.
Reach out to a knowledgeable Bronx bankruptcy attorney for guidance
Imagine moving forward with a clean slate in sight. There is a peace of mind that comes with a solid plan coupled with attainable goals for a brighter financial future. For a complementary and confidential consultation tailored to your specific needs, reach out to experienced bankruptcy lawyer Thomas M. Denaro. Please call us at (718) 863-6000 or contact us online.