What Happens During a Bankruptcy Consultation?

30. January, 2015|Uncategorized|No comments

The initial consultation is to determine the client’s best course of action. The attorney will generally review your financial situation, discuss possible solutions (such as Chapter 7, Chapter 13, debt negotiation/debt settlement, and mortgage foreclosure defense), and answer any questions. This first meeting is an opportunity not only to get a professional appraisal of your financial status, but also to see if the attorney is a good fit for you.

In my office the Bankruptcy consultations are always FREE.

Bankruptcy laws require that the attorney conduct an income analysis. This is generally done during the initial consultation. If you decide to retain our office, there is generally more detail that is obtained after the initial consultation.

How do you prepare for your first Bankruptcy Consultation?

1) Be ready to answer questions about your finances HONESTLY. If you withhold information, it will become difficult for the attorney accurately assess your financial situation. At my office, I try to make clients feel comfortable, as filing Bankruptcy is often a stressful process, but just know that your attorney is there to ease some of that burden.

2) Read ALL information provided by the attorney. With may documents I provide, I require clients to sign the documents, acknowledging that they have been read.

Reviewing documents is especially important when it comes to filing the Bankruptcy petition, as the petition is signed under penalty of perjury and provides that the debtor disclosed all information. Being “forgetful” when filing Bankruptcy causes many problems down the road.

3) During the first meeting, have the following information available:

a.Basic biographical information, e.g., full name, address, phone numbers, email address, etc.
b.Number of dependent children and their ages;
c.Length of time you have lived in the state;
d.Whether you have filed for bankruptcy before, chapter, and case number, if possible.
e.Purchase date, value, loan balance, and payment amount for your home and any other real property that you own;
f. Makes, models, mileage, and years on all vehicles owned. If there is a balance, that will be needed as well.
g. A total balance of all unsecured debt, such as credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, and student loans (a rough balance is fine to start);
h. All tax information, including whether or not you have outstanding tax debt.
i. Information about all judgments and lawsuits filed against you, and those you have filed against others.
j. Any and all information about income changes within the last 6 months, as well as any expected financial changes.

Most of all, feel free to ask questions! Many times, people are shy or nervous, so they are often afraid to ask “dumb questions”. Just know that your bankruptcy attorney is there to help you, and any questions that can be answered, should.