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Even if work hard to pay off your debts, you may reach a point where debt is simply insurmountable. When that time comes, bankruptcy may be your only valid option. Luckily, a compassionate bankruptcy lawyer can help you through the entire process. Here are a few important items that you should bring to your first appointment with a bankruptcy attorney:

  • Tax Returns

In order to help you get out of debt, a lawyer must first become intimately familiar with your financial situation. Your tax returns from the previous three years should provide your lawyer with insight on your past income, how much you owe the government, and other key facts.

  • List of Assets

To become even more familiar with your finances, your attorney needs to see at least three months’ worth of pay stubs, accurate and up-to-date balances on all bank accounts, stock portfolios, and any other financial information that you can produce. A rough inventory of your personal belongings and their values may also be helpful. It’s important to note that you cannot gain anything by withholding information from your lawyer—your attorney is bound by a confidentiality agreement, and withholding assets will only result in delays and even criminal charges.

  • All Debt Information

It’s important to bring all information related your outstanding debts. This includes bills, contracts, and letters from creditors. After carefully reviewing your overall financial situation, your lawyer will advise you on which bankruptcy option to take.