How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy can help clients settle their debts and get their finances back in order, but the process can be quite complicated. That’s why most clients really require the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. This article is intended to help those who are in the process of deciding whether or not filing for bankruptcy constitutes the right financial decision to meet their needs prepare for their initial consultations.

Prepare for the Attorney’s Question

Attorneys need to ask their clients some basic questions in order to get a better idea of why they are filing for bankruptcy to help them determine the best solution to meet their needs. Clients should be prepared to answer questions regarding their personal income and debts, the nature of those debts, any assets that they might have and what they are worth, and whether or not their creditors have judgments against them. Clients who are married should also expect to answer questions regarding shared assets and their spouses’ incomes.

Gathering Documents

Filing for bankruptcy requires that clients supply certain documents, so it’s a good idea to bring as many of these as possible to the initial consultation. Documents that will be required include the last two years of tax returns, at least seven months of paycheck stubs and bank statements, copies of mortgages and vehicle loan statements, copies of insurance policies, any foreclosure-related paperwork, and copies of investment and retirement statements. Clients who are divorced should also bring a copy of their marital settlement agreements and all clients should bring copies of their social security cards and driver’s licenses.

Questions for the Attorney

Clients should write down any specific questions that they may have prior to heading in for their initial consultations. Be sure to ask about attorney’s fees and payment plans, what personal property will be exempt from seizure, and what type of bankruptcy will be most appropriate given the client’s unique individual needs. Before leaving the consultation, be sure to find out whether any additional information will be required and get contact information for someone who will be available to answer any future questions.

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