Your First Office Visit With a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Your initial office visit will enable me to assess your situation and advise you of your options relative to bankruptcy and to determine with you if bankruptcy is right for you. We will discuss the different types of bankruptcy, your financial situation, the problems you are having with creditors and the impact filing bankruptcy will have on your life. I will address any questions and concerns that you may have about filing for bankruptcy.

What to Bring to Your First Bankruptcy Visit

In order for me to give you meaningful advice about bankruptcy law and to accurately assess your situation you will need to provide me with as much of the following information as you can at our initial meeting. Do not delay the initial meeting if any of this information is not readily available.

IDENTIFICATION. You should bring with you a photo ID such as a driver's license or passport, and your Social Security Card.

PERSONAL INCOME INFORMATION. I will need copies of your pay stubs or other evidence of income for the last six months. I will also need recorded information on all other income such as retirement or pension income, child support, alimony, social security, disability income and the like. Documentation of all income deductions is also required.

BUSINESS INCOME INFORMATION. If you are or were in business I will need complete income information for the past year including gross income and expenses.

OTHER FINANCIAL RECORDS. Please bring with you (i) statements for all financial accounts, including bank account statements, investment account statements, mortgage statements, car loan statements, medical bill statements and utility bill statements for the past six months; (ii) income tax returns for the past 4 years; (iii) a list of all monthly expenses including mortgage, rent, utilities, food, clothing, medical, charity donations, recreation, student loans, car loan payments, taxes not deducted from payroll, other loan payments and any other expenses that you may have; and (iv) documentation for all debt not otherwise included above such as legal letters, litigation documents, collection letters, loan documents and the like.

CURRENT CREDIT REPORT. I will need to see a current credit report for you. You can obtain a free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies. The reports are available on-line at www.annualcreditreport.com, or by mail or telephone: Annual Credit Report Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 or phone 1-877-322-8228. Mail requests require the use of an official request form which is available on the annual credit report web site.

ASSETS. Please bring with you information on all assets owned by you and the replacement value of such property including automobiles, real estate, furniture and any other property that you have.

DOMESTIC SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS. I will need to know if you are required to pay child support, alimony, or the like. You will need to provide evidence of the status of such obligations, the name and address of the recipient of such payments and any documentation that you may have relative to such obligations.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION. I will need information on (i) any bankruptcy you may have filed during the last eight years; (ii) felony convictions; (iii) all addresses for the last three years; (iii) income or property received or that you expect to receive from a trust or probate estate; (iv) retirement accounts or educational IRAs; and all other information that you may think is relevant.

Receiving Credit Counseling

The 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code require that individual (non-corporate) debtors take a credit counseling course with an approved agency prior to filing bankruptcy and a financial management course after your case has been filed. The certificates of completion must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court as a condition of filing your bankruptcy case and for getting your bankruptcy discharge. Joint debtors must each take the courses and file their individual certificates.

Contact a Massachusetts Debt Relief Attorney

To discuss your financial issues with an experienced and compassionate bankruptcy lawyer, call 866-959-9065 or fill out the contact form on this Web site to schedule your free initial consultation. My office is conveniently located in downtown Boston and is accessible by all T lines. I also have meeting locations throughout the Greater Boston, Metro West and North Shore areas.