What info do I need to get started

Would you like to find out if filing bankruptcy makes sense for you?  The Bankruptcy Law Network has members and associates throughout the country.  If you live in a jurisdiction where we have no member, we are happy to provide you with a referral.

1.  Please download our two page questionnaire.  This will help the attorney better understand what issues you are facing.  When and if you hire your lawyer you will need to provide more information but this is a good starting point.

2. We need you to get your mandatory pre-filing credit counseling certificate – here is a page with links to several vendors

3. We need you to get copies of your credit reports – you can mail away for these reports or download them today at annualcreditreport.com.  You can also request credit reports directly from the credit bureaus (click on the link)

4. You will need to provide copies of “payment advices” for the last 7 months –  if you are married, you need to include your spouse’s pay advices as well.  A payment advice can include your paystub, a dividend receipt, a one time payment, a disability payment or bonus check receipt.

5. You will need a copy of last year’s (2014) income tax return.

What Should I Bring to the First Meeting?

First, know that even if you don’t end up hiring this lawyer, your communications are privileged. To preserve this privilege, you shouldn’t bring other people to the meeting; if you need someone for moral support or transportation, don’t be upset if the attorney asks them to wait in the reception area.

DO bring all the paperwork you have, including foreclosure or suit papers (if you’ve been sued). Unless you decide to hire this lawyer, take all your papers with you, and let him or her make copies if he or she wants to review something further. Although many lawyers will ask you to complete a questionnaire before the meeting, having the back-up papers may save time.

DON’T try to hide unfavorable or embarrassing information. The lawyer needs to know all the facts to protect your interests. What he doesn’t know CAN hurt you, because such things have a way of coming out at the worst possible time, and your lawyer can’t respond very well if it’s a surprise.

DON’T feel pressured into signing up with the first lawyer you meet.