Keep in mind that you do NOT have to provide ANY documents to hold your initial consultation.
Most clients come to their initial appointment empty handed, which is fine so long as you have basic knowledge of what you own, approximately how much you owe in debt, and what your income level is. The consultation is typically one hour in length. There is no obligation to do anything at that meeting.
In order to get your case filed, you will eventually need to retain the firm and provide the following:
1. 7 months of pay information from all sources of income. Typically this means, paycheck stubs for the 7 months prior to filing, preferably with year-to-date totals on them. If you own your own business, you will need to provide a monthly accounting of the revenue and expenses related to your business. If you receive Social Security or some other retirement income, you will have to provide some sort of documentation evidencing what you receive each month.
2. Federal and State Income Tax Returns for the 2 years prior to filing. If you are not required to file tax returns, we can draft an Affidavit for you to sign attesting to that fact. If you own a business and file business returns, you should also supply business returns for that time period.
3. Name, address, and amount owed (approximate if you don’t know) for all creditors to which you owe money. This includes your home mortgage, car loans, student loans, tax debts, credit cards, medical bills, and any other debt you may owe, whether dischargeable or not. Most clients simply bring in the most recent bill, collections letter, statement, etc. for their debts and I can prepare the paperwork from those documents. If you’d like to hand write this information, you certainly can, but it is not necessary. You also might consider pulling your credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies. You can do so once per year for FREE from annualcreditreport.com.
4. Certificate of completion for your first round of credit counseling.
To obtain the certificate, please contact one of the credit counseling agencies listed on the “Other Resources” page of this website.