WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED?
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR INITIAL CONSULT
It is usually a good idea to bring these items to your initial office consult if you can locate them:
- Last 6 months paystubs or proof of income
- Last 4 months of bank statements for your accounts
- Signed copies of your last 2 tax returns and any notices or statements from your tax creditors including the IRS, NYS Dept of Tax, NYC Dept of Finance
- Your ID – social security card and driver’s license
- All statements for your debts – your bills – for credit cards, utilities, phones, internet, utilities (gas, heat and electric), department store cards, gas station cards, mortgages, student loans, etc.
- Copies of any mortgages, notes, guarantees, and security agreements for things like car loans
- A list of your assets and documents such as stocks, bonds, co-op certificates and proprietary leases, deeds for real estate, safe deposit boxes, tools, jewelry, art, vehicles and equipment
- Leases, rental agreements and contracts
- List of any co-signers
Here’s what to expect at a typical office consultation. First, we will review your alternatives and solutions and try to decide on the best strategy. Then, we will need to formalize the attorney-client relationship by preparing and signing a retainer agreement. This is intended to protect the attorney and the client and to avoid disputes – by clearly spelling out the scope of services to be provided and the fees and costs involved. Other documents that will be signed or reviewed include our Free Debtor’s Handbook, containing frequently asked questions and answers; a series of disclosures on bankruptcy law, a worksheet or questionairre, and the client’s documents, including bills, court papers, tax returns and paystubs. We will also make copies of your ID, typically a driver’s license and social security card. Time permitting, and if you have sufficient information available, we will conduct a preliminary review of your budget for a possible Chapter 13 payment plan. We will prepare a list of items that you still need to provide and we will follow up with letters, calls and/or emails. Once a draft of the petitions and schedules are available, we will email you a copy in adobe acrobat pdf format or we can mail you a hard copy to review.