Are you struggling financially and unsure what to do next? Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a big step and should not be taken lightly. If you feel that bankruptcy might be the best choice for you, your first step should be to meet with an attorney. If you aren’t sure how to find an attorney, bankruptcy lawyers near me Edmonds WA services can help you. Following these tips can help ease some of the stress of your consultation.
Proof of Income
When you meet with your attorney, they will need to have a ballpark idea of your financial situation. You will need to provide your lawyer proof of all sources of income from the last 7 to 8 months. Bring all pay stubs and evidence of bonuses, commissions, or tips. If you sell items online or receive interest from an account, this is considered income. Social security, retirement, unemployment, and pensions are also examples of income.
Verification of Expenses
To help you know if you qualify for bankruptcy, your attorney must have a good understanding of your monthly expenses. When you prepare for your meeting, sit down and make a list of everything you spend money on every month and don’t leave anything out. Include household expenses, home maintenance, food, clothes, recreation, pet care, and insurance. Your lawyer will complete a means test based on your provided expenses to see if you have enough monthly income to pay back your creditors. While most expenses will be deducted using a local standard on the means test, some will be claimed as the actual amount spent, so it is important to have accurate records.
Questions you Might Have
At the moment, you might not remember everything you want to ask your lawyer, so it is helpful to write your questions down. That way, you can see which questions still need answering at the end. Some helpful questions might be about fees, how long it takes to prepare and file the bankruptcy petition, or what property you’ll be allowed to keep.