A common option bankruptcy lawyers offer is an initial consultation. In fact, you may find a lawyer offering the initial consultation of your case free of charge. This is the chance to discuss your issues and financial status, and to determine if bankruptcy is a legitimate option for you. The consultation also helps determine the type of bankruptcy you need. One key component of the consultation is providing your lawyer with as much documentation as possible of the situation. Here are some of those documents and what to know about preparing each one.
You may not think of your tax returns as part of bankruptcy or bankruptcy law. Your tax returns actually help the lawyer determine and note your taxable income. Your income and the ability to pay your debts are a key part of the bankruptcy process. You will need to show that where you may have an income, it is not enough to pay your daily needs as well as the debts you have incurred. Your tax returns are federal and state recorded documentation of your income and one of the most viable ways of showing income.
Your tax returns are only one way to prove your income and your financial situation with your debts. However, another way is to show your current pay stubs. This will show that you do have an income or the lack of pay stubs can show a loss of income. For example, you may have had a high-paying job when the debts were established. However, you may now have lost your job due to illness or job closure. This may make it difficult to pay your debts or to find a suitable job with the same or higher income to continue paying your debts. Pay stubs help with proving your financial situation and your ability to pay.
If you are considering bankruptcy, you likely already know which debts you would like to include in your bankruptcy case. You need to have documentation of these debts. This documentation should include the name of the account, debt holder, account number, contact number for the debt holder, amount of the outstanding debt, and any collections notice regarding the debt. You can do this easily if all of the debts appear on your credit report. If they do not, make sure you have them in some form for your lawyer.
Remember, your lawyer needs to see as much documentation as possible. This helps them determine how bankruptcy law can actually help you. For this reason, you should make sure your documents are in order as well as current. If you do not have current information, try to get it as soon as possible so you will have it for the consultation appointment.