If you are even contemplating bankruptcy, the first thing to do is consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Although it is possible to file your own bankruptcy without legal counsel, to do so is risky. Contact Onondaga and Westchester County bankruptcy lawyer Theodore Araujo and The Bankruptcy Law Center and schedule an appointment for a free consultation. Theodore Araujo can educate you in the process and guide you through the various stages of your bankruptcy case. The Bankruptcy Law Center has compiled the following preliminary information to help you prepare for your appointment:
- You will need proof of your income for the six months prior to the month in which you are filing. For example, if you want to file your case in March, you will need all of your paystubs or any other proof of income from September through February. You will also need your most recent tax returns and copies of the most recent statements for each of your debts.
- Your attorney will review your income information and go over your budget, your debts and the value of your assets. Whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 will depend upon several factors, including your ability to pay, your income level, the value of your property and the types of debt you have.
- Before you file, you must obtain pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an approved agency. Your attorney will enroll you in a course and give you instructions. You must file your case within 180 days after you take the course.
- After you have taken your course, you must file your bankruptcy petition and other required documents. You will need to list everything you own and every creditor to whom you owe money. You will need to answer questions about your finances going back several years. Your attorney will help you complete the forms and will sign them with you. When you sign your bankruptcy paperwork, you will be certifying under penalty of perjury that the information contained therein is truthful and accurate.
If you are not sure about whether you should file bankruptcy, review your financial outlook carefully. Even if you are hanging on for now, do you foresee a downward slide? Are you facing home foreclosure or vehicle repossession? Has a creditor garnished your wages or your bank account? Whether your financial situation is on its way down or already dire, make an appointment to meet with Onondaga and Westchester County bankruptcy attorney Theodore Araujo. The sooner you start to review your options, the better off you will be.