When you’ve scheduled a consultation with an attorney to discuss a New York bankruptcy, it’s normal to wonder what to expect. Although every bankruptcy attorney has their own approach, there are questions and discussion topics that appear in the majority of first meetings.  There are also documents you should bring that will make the whole session go more smoothly and efficiently.

Why do you want to file?

Every attorney will want to know the answer to this question, as they need to understand your financial situation and decide whether bankruptcy is a recommended solution in your case. Don’t be shy or too embarrassed to give an honest answer: the attorney is not there to judge you. Withholding information can only cause you to receive an inaccurate assessment.

The attorney will also want to know if you have been subjected to any of the following:

  • Notice of an imminent lawsuit against you
  • Your wages are being garnished
  • Your home has been foreclosed upon
  • One or more creditors has seized money from your bank account

After reviewing all applicable circumstances, the attorney will ask questions about your income, family size, and the size and nature of your debts, so they can determine whether you’re qualified to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 or, in rare circumstances, Chapter 11.

Going ahead

If you decide to hire the bankruptcy attorney and proceed with the filing, then you will undergo a client intake process. Documents and information that you will need to complete the intake form include:

  • Copies of your driver’s license or state ID and Social Security card
  • A list of your debts
  • All checking or savings account balances (try to go back at least six months)
  • At least two years’ worth of tax returns
  • Pay stubs to show current income (preferably the last six months of pay stubs)
  • Past two years of profit and loss statements as well as year-to-date figures (if you are self-employed)
  • Copies of your mortgage and car loan statements
  • Copies of any investment or retirement statements
  • Utility bills
  • A list of all assets in your name, along with deeds, titles, etc.
  • Copies of any spousal maintenance or child support orders, etc.

Depending on the complexity of your financial situation, you may have to meet a few times with the attorney before the bankruptcy is filed. If you have civil suits pending or complicated property issues to resolve, then it could prolong your actual filing date. You will also have to pay a fee for the attorney to file your petition with the bankruptcy court.

While there is a lot of process and some expense involved with filing for bankruptcy in New York, many declare that the peace of mind and fresh financial start are worth it. If you are experiencing financial problems, then a New York bankruptcy attorney can give you the advice you need to improve your situation. Jayson Lutzky is a bankruptcy attorney with an office located in the Bronx, New York. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, then contact Mr. Lutzky’s office at 718-514-6619 to set up a free in-office consultation. Mr. Lutzky has helped many get a fresh start through personal bankruptcy over the past 33 years. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.