Be Prepared for Your Bankruptcy Consultation
With many things in life, the first step is often the hardest. In bankruptcy, it can seem that way also—although in truth, the first step, getting your initial consultation, should be the easiest step. One thing that can make it easier is knowing what to expect at your initial bankruptcy consultation.
Be Open and Honest
The first thing to remember is that you are not being judged. Your lawyer has seen loads of bankruptcy cases just like yours, and if your attorney practices bankruptcy, they probably know that people get into financial trouble for a lot of different reasons.
Your attorney is your friend, and is there to make the process easier for you. Relax and be as truthful as possible about your situation.
Fill Out Paperwork
Bankruptcy requires a lot of paperwork to be filled out. Your attorney may ask you to fill some of it out before your first consultation. You should be diligent and fill out the documents as completely as possible. Some of the information you may not have on hand and may have to look up includes account numbers, lender names, or exact balances for your accounts.
Take the time and fill everything out completely. Cutting corners will only lead to problems, and forgetting something—even innocently—can lead to bigger problems when and if your case is filed.
Come With Your Questions
Think of every question you can in advance and write them down. During your consultation, you may be a bit overwhelmed or even intimidated—you may not remember everything you intended to ask. A few days before your consultation, start thinking of and writing down questions that you might have.
Don’t Do Anything Drastic
Don’t do anything out of the ordinary financially. Don’t pay any bills you normally are not able to pay. Don’t move any money around your bank accounts, give any property away, or re-title any property or accounts that are in your name. That’s generally a bad idea, and even if it were a good idea, it’s not something you should do without your attorney’s knowledge or advice.
Your attorney may want you to bring paperwork to your consultation. Even if not, you will eventually need certain paperwork if and when you file your bankruptcy, so it’s best to have all of this documentation gathered.
Some documents that you will need for your consultation or for your bankruptcy include:
- Proof of income, including your regular salary as well as as bonuses, commissions or income from second jobs
- Bank accounts statements
- Credit card statements, as well as any bills from medical expenses. This includes any bills or collection letters from any of these kinds of creditors.
- Title and paperwork for loans for cars and houses (if you rent, bring your lease agreement)
- Paperwork related to divorce or domestic support obligations, if any
- Paperwork from any lawsuits that you are involved in, if any (whether you are suing someone, or you are the one being sued)
Questions about your bankruptcy case or your bankruptcy options? Contact the Boca Raton bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Orchard at 561-455-7961 for a consultation today.