What Do I Bring to a Consultation With a Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Lawyer?
The prospect of sharing all your financial information with a stranger is unsettling for many reasons. However, if you need the services of a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer, you should provide the documents requested. Having all the facts about your financial situation helps the attorney make an informed recommendation about which type of bankruptcy is best for you.
When you schedule an appointment for a consultation with one or more of the lawyers in Pittsburgh, they will provide a list of documentation needed by their firm. You want to get the most from the initial consultation, so it’s best to come prepared.
What to Bring to an Initial Consultation
Of course, the initial consultation is usually free, but you want to learn as much as possible about the options available for your situation. It is also an opportunity for you to determine whether this attorney is the right one for your needs.
Most bankruptcy lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA will require the following documentation before they can accurately assess your situation and advise you on the options available. Once he or she has reviewed your information, the two of you can discuss possible solutions.
- Proof of Identity – This documentation can include a photo ID such as your driver’s license or passport. You will also need your Social Security card.
- Proof of Income – Bankruptcy law requires proof of your average monthly gross income from all sources for the past six months. Bring pay stubs and records from tips, bonuses, commissions, alimony, child support, a spouse’s income, or any other income. Also, bring proof if you have someone sharing living expenses with you, receipts from rental income, unemployment, social security, retirement or pension income, interest, dividends and any other sources of income. If you’re self-employed, bring a monthly Profit & Loss Statement.
- Banking Records – Bring monthly statements for the past two months for all banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions you use.
- Income Tax Returns – You are asked to provide tax returns for the last 2 years. If you have not filed those taxes, filing the bankruptcy will be delayed until you have done so.
- Statements of all Debts – These statements include medical bills, personal loans, credit cards, furniture loans, auto loans, jewelry loans, lawsuits, etc.
- Property Documents – Bring all recent statements for mutual funds, 401Ks, IRAs, stocks, and any other retirement accounts.
- Household Expenses – List or provide documents supporting all of your living expenses. This list can include rent or mortgage, power bill, water and sewage, transportation, food, clothing, cable or satellite service, alimony, child support. Include any monthly expenses that are part of your financial profile.
In addition to these documents, the attorney will also need to know if you have filed bankruptcy before and whether you have any pending lawsuits or judgments filed against you.
Help Your Lawyer Help You
It may seem like a lot of work to dig up this information, but by doing so, you’ll be helping your lawyer help you. You want to make the most of the initial consultation. If you take too long to provide the forms requested, your options may change considerably.
If you’re like most people, you’ll be on your way home from the meeting and think of a dozen things you forgot to ask. To prevent having to get back in touch with your lawyer right away, bring a list of questions with you to the consultation.
Find Out More About Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, and it can be stressful if you don’t get the support and guidance you expect from the attorney you choose. If you are in the process of finding a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer, contact us today. At Bartifay Law Offices, P.C., we specialize in mortgage modification, bankruptcy, and foreclosure defense. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. Call now and let us help you reach a positive conclusion to your financial dilemma.