Meeting with Attorneys for Bankruptcy the First Time

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Woman researches on computer questions to ask before meeting with attorneys for bankruptcy
Prepare for the first meeting by brainstorming questions to ask and bring any paperwork asked of you beforehand. Photo via Pixabay.

If you have decided to file for bankruptcy and have shortlisted the attorneys you will be working with, it is time to meet them in person. It is natural for you to want to know what to expect when meeting with attorneys for bankruptcy the first time. The first question the legal professional will likely ask you is whether you are considering filing for a bankruptcy or not. You need to be comfortable with the attorney when discussing financial matters.

What to expect when meeting with attorneys for bankruptcy

The attorney would want more information before they decide on what route to take. They will ask for detailed financial information to decide if bankruptcy will help solve your troubles. Before you decide on an attorney, first meet them in person and write down any questions you have. You can take the list to the meeting and seek answers for the same.

An attorney will be aware of the problem and will be ready with his side of the questions. A lot of people only show up at their office when they want a solution to their problems. When meeting with attorneys for bankruptcy at their offices, they will ask you the reason behind your visit. They will want to know more about it, based on your concerns. You need to clearly state this sensitive information to the attorney to move forward. Based on the same, the lawyer will assess whether you are qualified to file for a bankruptcy or not.

Whether you qualify for bankruptcy depends on the family size, your income and assets and the type of debt you owe. In addition, you need to provide information about property transfers or any recent purchases made by you. These factors will determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Documentation

If you are satisfied with the professionalism and experience of the attorney, you need to further discuss the resolution they offer you. Based on the same, you must gather the documents in order to complete bankruptcy quickly. The necessary documents include two years of filed tax returns and seven months of bank statements, as well as paycheck stubs for the last two years of profit. Also provide any loss statements for self-employed, current copies of the mortgage and vehicle loan statements, and a copy of the life insurance policy. And that’s not all.

You also must provide the following: foreclosure related paperwork, copy of the investment and retirement statements, valuation of the car, copy of marital settlement agreement for divorced, copy of the drivers’ license, and a copy of the social security card. A lot of bankruptcy lawyers ask you to fill out a lengthy bankruptcy questionnaire too and, if you can, get it done before the meeting with attorneys for bankruptcy the first time so that you can bring the completed paper with you.

Prepare your questions

It is always a good idea to write down the questions you might have before you visit the attorney’s office.Ask the attorney anything pertinent that comes to your mind. Some questions to ask attorneys for bankruptcy include:

  • Will filing of bankruptcy wipe out your debt or not?
  • Can you have a monthly payment plan? If so, how will it work?
  • Is there an alternative way to clear the debt other than filing for bankruptcy?

When the attorney answers these questions, you will be able to understand what path to take ahead. You also need to inquire about the attorney’s available services and associated fees. Most importantly, the attorney should be open and willing to answer all your questions in a friendly, patient manner.

If you are not comfortable with the attorney of if he or she is not ready to answer your questions, you need to look for other attorneys for bankruptcy. You also need to inquire whether the legal professional needs any additional information or documentation from you. Find out who to contact if you have questions too. You are not required to provide your answer then and there; you can take your time, consider all options, and then decide on the attorney you want to work with.

Making a decision

Make a well-informed decision by considering everything, from the behavior of the attorney to the fees charged. Can you afford to pay the fees? Also, are the fees are payable in installments or upfront full payment instead? Do not make a hasty decision that you might later regret. Instead, take your time and make the decision that can achieve the best outcome on your issue of debt.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Shortly before our first son was born I’d been forced to give up my job for pregnancy-related illness. I was eventually hospitalized with preeclampsia, and so my spice and I were living on a very modest single income without insurance. Due to a myriad of unforseen complications, my son had to be delivered via emergency c-section and within the span of about ten days, we were completely over our heads drowning in debt. It was unbearable and we worked desperately trying to keep from having to declare bancruptcy. Mind you, this was over twenty years ago, and the stigma of bankruptcy was even worse than it is today. I cannot imagine that it is ever a decision that anyone makes lightly. That said, I admire your gracious and important advice. You are always a font of wisdom and an amazing woman. xox

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