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Prepare for Your Visit

Once you have set up an appointment to come in, we ask that you come prepared.  Below is a list of most of the documents we will need from you to file your case, so please bring with you as much as you can get. If you are married filing jointly, please understand that this list refers to both joint and single items.

1.       Identification
We just need some proof that you are who you say you are. This could include a driver's license, passport, social security card, etc. And if you have ever used a different name, please let us know.

2.       Proof of Income
Pay stubs are easy to get if you keep them. If you do not, start now and try to get about six months worth from your employer, or whoever is giving you money. This includes both spouses. And, yes, it is important that we know everything. If you cannot bring this in with you on your first visit, do not worry; they are only necessary before you file. Please organize them by date, the most recent being on top.

3.       Banking Records
Bank statements from all of your banking accounts, including checking, savings, mutual funds, and other places where you put your money. As with the proof of income, about six months worth of records will do, and if you cannot get that many by the first visit, do not worry. Please organize them by date, the most recent being on top.

4.       Income Tax Returns
At least two years of federal tax returns are needed. We need to know what you have been telling the IRS, and what they have been telling you.

5.       Household Expenses
On this one, you know what you spend money on for your house: food, cleaning supplies, clothing, gasoline, insurances, birthday presents, etc., etc.  Make up a list of where your money goes each month (generally) and give an average for each month.

6.       Account Statements (for all your Debts)
Your creditors know where you live, and are probably in the habit of sending you a statement or bill - whether by email or the post office. Bring in the last six months from each person asking for money from you (these are your creditors). These are your mortgage, credit cards, medical, dental, tire, furniture, whatever statements. Please organize them by creditor, then by date, the most recent being on top.

7.       Property Documents
If you own a house, a piece of land, a rental unit, a commercial building, stocks, bonds, or even have an interest in Grandma's ranch - bring in any documentation that you have (or can get your hands on). It is very important that you let us know what properties your name is on. Especially if you have had any kind of a judgement against you, because your property might have a lien on it which we can deal with.

8.    Creditor Lawsuits Against You
We have seen it time and again where people wait until they have a lawsuit firled against them by a creditor. This cuts the time in half and requires an expedited filing on our part. Please, bring in any documentation from any lawsuits against you so that we can plan appropriately and give you proper advice. We may even be able to help you understand what to do next.

If you cannot get these documents together, then please come with what you have.  Do NOT cancel an appointment simply because you do not have these documents.  Arrangements can be made to either help you find them or proper substitutes.