If you are getting ready to have a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer, here is some general information as to what you can expect. The more you know going in, the better prepared you will be. Remember to ask as many questions as you can. If necessary, have someone with you so that you have the most information possible.
You will more than likely be asked to fill out some basic forms when you first arrive. The bankruptcy lawyer consultation could take an hour or longer, so if you have to cut it short, make sure you let the office know beforehand. There is also a chance that you may be asked to fill out other forms online a day before the consultation. All of this information is necessary because it will help your attorney analyze your situation and make the proper recommendations.
Once the consultation begins, you can expect your bankruptcy lawyer to spell out all of your options and explain the situation in which you find yourself. This will also be a chance for you to get to know your attorney and form an educated opinion as to whether or not you want him or her to represent you.
More than likely, your attorney will analyze your income and whatever special circumstances you may have. You’ll learn what assets you can protect from your creditors, the differences between the various types of bankruptcy, and their benefits and drawbacks.
You’ll need to bring several items with you to the consultation. The most important is as thorough a list of your debts as possible. This includes every debt you owe, such as credit cards, bank loans, payoff balances, loans from family or friends, medical bills, and any bounced checks that you may have. The bankruptcy lawyer will be better able to work from a list than from a file of bills, and be able to recommend a course of action faster as a result. However, you will eventually need to gather all of your bills and put them in a box or large envelope.
You’ll also want to bring your most recent paystub, or evidence of income if you are a freelancer or contract employee. Bring whatever you can that shows how much money you have made over the last six months if you fall into one of those categories. Bring any legal documents regarding collections efforts, lawsuits or foreclosure proceedings, as well as a printout stating the value of your vehicle or vehicles.
Finally, you’ll want to provide evidence of the value of your house and land if you are a property owner. You can look online to find the comparable values of houses in your neighborhood if you have not had an appraisal performed recently. Also, make sure you bring your spouse with you for your bankruptcy lawyer consultation, whether or not he or she is also filing.