Nobody likes paperwork. But if you plan to file for bankruptcy it’s key to be prepared with the right documentation. Bankruptcy attorney Xue Connelly shares her expertise on what documents you need to gather before meeting with a lawyer.
Collect All of Your Bills
“When you’re coming in to consult with an attorney regarding a bankruptcy, bring all of your bills,” says Xue Connelly. “That includes credit card bills, medical bills, and any other expenses you have. Whether they are opened or unopened, bring them with you and the attorney can sort through them with you.” The more documentation you have, the better.
Bring Your Credit Report
“One misconception about credit reports is that they include a comprehensive list of every record you have, which is not the case,” explains Connelly. “However, they do provide a good snapshot of what you owe and what bills you need to look at when filing for bankruptcy.”
Gather Your Pay Stubs
“Providing your attorney with at least four to six months of pay stubs will give them a good idea of what they’re working with and will allow them to come up with a plan for filing for bankruptcy,” says Connelly.
Come Prepared with Documentation of Any Pending Lawsuits
Connelly says, “If you have any garnishments or lawsuits pending against you, you will want to share documentation on those with your attorney in your initial conversation as well.”
Thinking about filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming. “Often, when someone is in a situation where creditors are calling and they don’t have enough money to pay them, they will stick their head in the sand, ignoring calls or not opening mail. It’s understandable,” says Connelly. “But if you plan to file for bankruptcy, you will need that paperwork. An experienced attorney will be happy to go through all your documentation with you and put together a plan to help you get out of that situation.”