83. What Should I Expect From a Bankruptcy Consultation?

If you are getting ready to meet with a bankruptcy attorney for a consultation, you may be wondering what to expect. A bankruptcy consultation is your chance to learn more about the filing process and your best options.

What Can I Expect?

Since most consultations are free, be prepared to ask and answer questions about filing. Use this time to ask questions, go over concerns, and find out more about how bankruptcy works. During your consultation, you will discuss your circumstances in detail and review the options on how to move forward.

What Should I Bring?

 To assist the attorney in understanding your financial background and filing eligibility, there is documentation you may want to bring with you:
  • Proof of income: pay stubs from your job, self-employment earnings, and other forms of income (workers compensation, retirement, child support, social security, etc). You may need to provide income proof for the last 6 months if possible.
  • Income tax returns: documentation for the last 2 years. If you intend to file bankruptcy make sure taxes are filed and current.
  • List of your debts: credit cards, medical bills, mortgage, vehicle, personal loans, and other outstanding loans or monies owed.  If you have received a summons or notification of being sued (lawsuit), present this as well.
  • Household expenses: a list of necessary living expenses (food, clothes, utilities, rent, medical and other payments you make on a monthly basis) any debt payments, charitable contributions, and insurance premiums should also be included.
Do you have valuable assets such as property, stocks, a retirement account, jewelry, or other items? If so, ask how these items can be protected if you decide to file.  The more information you bring, the better idea you get in understanding your bankruptcy eligibility.

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Daniela Romero

Daniela Romero has been practicing law in the Los Angeles area since 1998. Ms. Romero has practiced in the areas of civil litigation, family law and bankruptcy law. She was also the staff attorney for the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Project. MORE

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