How to Prepare for Your Bankruptcy Consultation
Whether to file for bankruptcy is a big decision, so we encourage people interested in dealing with their debt to schedule a free consultation. The purpose of the consultation is twofold: it allows the attorney to get a better idea of your financial decision so they can advise whether bankruptcy is right for you. Also, a consultation gives a potential client a chance to meet face-to-face with an attorney, which will help to determine whether the lawyer is a good “fit.”
To prepare for your consultation, follow the tips below.
Collect Financial Documents
A lawyer needs a basic understanding of your financial situation so that he or she can offer accurate, helpful advice. Collect the following documents:
- Pay stubs and W-2 forms
- Tax returns for the past 2-3 years
- Proof of other income, such as retirement benefits, Social Security benefits, disability payments, etc.
- Bank account balances
- Retirement account balances
- Child support or alimony payments
Also, find documents that show the amount and type of your debt. For example, if you have a car loan, then you will want to know the current balance as well as information about the car. Write out a list of all debts you have, including the current balances:
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Medical debt
- Court judgments against you
- Car loan
Bankruptcy affects debt in different ways. If your debt is unsecured, then bankruptcy will often wipe it out entirely. However, if you have secured debt, then you can still lose the asset that acts as collateral even if you go through bankruptcy. For these reasons, a lawyer needs to know important details about what debt you want to eliminate.
Come Up with a List of Questions
A consultation provides an excellent opportunity to ask the attorney questions. Hopefully, you ask questions you can’t find answers to online. Lawyers are busy, so write out your questions so you don’t forget them.
Many of our clients want to know:
- What other information a lawyer needs to handle your case.
- How long the bankruptcy process takes. There are different bankruptcies, and the duration varies.
- How the lawyer communicates and who you will speak with if you have a question.
- How much debt the lawyer expects you can eliminate in the bankruptcy.
Include any questions that you want an answer to. The key is to feel comfortable with the person you hire, so listen carefully to the lawyer’s answers. If he or she talks over your head or doesn’t have a good handle on the law, then you might want to schedule a consultation with a different attorney.
Meet with Nowack & Olson for Free
If debt is getting you down, realize that you do have options. Federal bankruptcy law allows indebted consumers to wipe out or reorganize their debts by using bankruptcy. The Plantation bankruptcy attorneys at Nowack & Olson have helped hundreds of people dig out from under their debts so they can face the future with a clean financial slate.
Contact us today. You can schedule your free consultation by calling 888-813-4737.