What to Bring to the First Meeting
Accurate financial information is critical for helping devise the best strategy to reduce or eliminate debt. Please bring the following documents so that we can determine the best course of action to provide you maximum protection:
- 2015 and 2016 tax returns.
- all paystubs that you have received (and, if you are married, that your spouse has received--even if he or she does not want to file) in the last seven (7) months. The paystubs are essential because we not only need to determine your gross wages for the previous seven months, but we also need the specific deductions (taxes, insurance, 401 k contributions/loans, etc.) from each paycheck. Many employers make their paystubs available online; please check with your employer if you do not have all of your paystubs.
- if you have received any unemployment compensation in the last seven (7) months, please bring evidence of all such payments (either in the form of unemployment check stubs and/or bank statements).
- if you own your own business (or if you have not worked and therefore have not received any paystubs), bring all personal and corporate bank statements for the last seven (7) months (especially if you do not draw a paycheck).
- if you own or are purchasing your home, you will need to bring the most recent property tax statement or statement of assessed value.
- the most recent monthly statements from each and every creditor that claims that you owe them money, regardless of whether you want to include them or not and regardless of whether you dispute the obligation. Please bring the most recent mortgage statement, equity line statement, credit card statement, medical bill statement, student loan statement and tax statement from each creditor.
- any and all documents/correspondence from collection firms that you have received in the last 2 months.
- any judgments of divorce entered in the last six (6) years.
Is there anything that you do not have to bring? Yes - you do not have to bring money. We strongly believe that establishing a level of trust and comfort between Ronald S. Siegel, P.C. and our clients is the first and most important step, and that the purpose of the first meeting is three-fold: (a) to review all of your options so as to allow you to decide whether bankruptcy protection (or whether a non-bankruptcy alternative) is the best option for you; (b) for you to decide whether us is the best lawyer to represent you; and (c) for Ronald S. Siegel to decide whether our representing you is a “good fit” for both of us. Unless and until all three of these questions are answered “yes,” and unless and until you hire Ronald S. Siegel, no money is required.