What to bring to an initial free bankruptcy consultation

There are a few documents that may be useful for you to bring to your first bankruptcy consultation in my office. Your first consultation is free, and no paperwork is actually required, but it is often helpful to bring a few things if you have them.

Here are the basic documents that are the most helpful for a consultation:

• Recent pay stubs
• Any document from a creditor that you are worried about, such as collection letters, lawsuits, or wage garnishments.

You can bring in as much paperwork as you want to the consultation. There is no such thing as too much paperwork!

There are quite a few documents that will be required before your bankruptcy case can be filed. At the end of your initial free consultation when I know what your case will involve, I will give you a complete list of all paperwork that will be required. The following list of documents are generally required in every case (if applicable):
• Pay stubs for the last 6 months.
• Tax Return (most recent return filed)
• W-2 or 1099 for all income or jobs for the last two years.
• Creditor Information: this can be billing statements or collection letters that have the creditor’s name, address, and account number.
• Credit Counseling Certificate: you must take the credit counseling class online and bring me the certificate of completion. There are many websites that offer this service for less than $30.
• IRS Account Transcripts for each year you owe back taxes. You can get these online for free at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript or you can call 1-800-908-9946 to order by phone.
• California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Pre Bankruptcy letter. Call (916) 845-4750 and request that they fax the letter to (510) 680-3430.
• Mortgage Arrears: current statement of arrears owed on mortgages.
• Appraisal of home value. (This applies if stripping off a second mortgage or judgment lien)
• Lawsuits (copies of any collection lawsuits against you, or any other lawsuits you are involved in in any way).
• Wage Garnishment Orders.
• Profit and Loss statements for the last 6 months if you own a business or are self employed.

Some of the documents on this list may not apply to you, and are therefore not required for your case. Furthermore, there are many other documents that could be required in your case, depending on the situation. All documents required for your particular case will be discussed at your consultation, but the items in this list will give you a good head start in being prepared.