The goal of your first meeting with a Rutherfordton bankruptcy lawyer is to lay out your case in detail, including providing details about your debt load and your income. While bankruptcy can offer relief from debt that far exceeds your income, filing for bankruptcy is a complex legal process. It can be daunting to go through the process, provide all the required information, and complete all the required forms and schedules.
This is where a lawyer comes in. When you are ready to work with one, you need to know how to prepare for your first bankruptcy lawyer meeting. In addition to information about your financial past, your lawyer will want to hear about your financial goals and may also ask about your plans to manage debt in the future. With this information, they can determine the right bankruptcy Chapter for you and start preparing your case.
Filing for bankruptcy can erase overwhelming debt and help you regain control of your financial well-being. For their legal service to be effective, your lawyer should have a clear picture of your current financial circumstances right from your very first meeting. At that initial meeting, your lawyer will request a range of personal and financial information.
Compile Personal Information for Your First Bankruptcy Lawyer Meeting
At your first meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer, you should be prepared to answer their questions and support them with documentation. Those questions can include:
- Your marital status
- Whether you have dependents
- Whether you own a business
- Your financial goal after bankruptcy
Bring the following documents to support your answers to these questions:
- Your divorce paperwork, if applicable
- Your driver’s license or state ID card
- Your marriage license
- Your Social Security card
Do not be embarrassed about any of these questions or any of your answers. Your lawyer will have dealt with them before and is only asking questions to get a clear picture of your situation and provide the best possible legal advice.
Your attorney will also ask many questions related to your finances, including income and debt. Again, answer these questions fully and provide as much supportive documentation as possible. They may ask:
- What is your current individual income?
- What is your current household income?
- Do you fully or partially own a business?
- Do you have any assets or real property?
- Are you currently facing eviction or foreclosure?
- Have you recently sold any property?
- Have you recently transferred any property out of your name?
- Do you owe any unpaid federal taxes?
- Are you current on child support payments, if applicable?
- Are you current on spousal support, if applicable?
- Do you have any judgments or liens against you?
Your lawyer will also ask about your goals in filing for bankruptcy. Based on the information you provide, they will explain your options and whether or not bankruptcy is the right choice for you. If you mutually decide it is, they will explain the various Chapters and the limitations and benefits of each.
Financial Documents To Bring to Your First Meeting With a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Your lawyer will require the following financial documents. If you can, provide your bankruptcy lawyer with a complete list of income and assets at your first meeting:
- A complete list of your creditors
- Any and all insurance policies
- Bank statements
- Child support orders
- Documents from any previous bankruptcies
- Mortgage documents
- Receipts for recent payments
- Recent tax returns
- Spousal support orders
- Vehicle titles
- Written or electronic communication from creditors
- Your most recent bills
Your lawyer will require as much information about your debt load as possible. Bring any other financial documents you believe will support your case even if they are not on this list.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
While you can attempt to file for bankruptcy on your own, there is a bevy of benefits to hiring a lawyer. The U.S. Courts even recommend working with a bankruptcy attorney. If you choose a lawyer, they can:
- Explain the immediate and far-reaching benefits of bankruptcy
- Help you compile the necessary documents for the trustee
- Explain which debts you can and cannot have discharged
- Clarify the benefits of each bankruptcy Chapter and the right one for you
Your lawyer will also help you understand each step of the process and represent you at any court hearings. They can answer any questions you have and keep you updated throughout your case.
Bring Your Own List of Questions to Your First Bankruptcy Meeting
Just as your lawyer will have questions for you, you will have questions of your own, and your lawyer will be prepared to answer them. Questions can include:
- Can I keep my house, car, and other property?
- How long will the bankruptcy process take?
- How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
- How will filing for bankruptcy affect my credit?
- What are your fees for taking my case?
- What is an automatic stay and when does it start?
- Which bankruptcy Chapter is best for me?
Financial stress and frustration can be wearying and make it difficult to remember what you wanted to ask. Write down questions and concerns as they occur to you and bring them with you to this first meeting.
Bankruptcy can give you the relief you need from debts you cannot afford to repay. It can be an intimidating process to go through on your own. When our legal team represents you, we will explain each step of the process, including how to prepare for your first bankruptcy lawyer meeting.
Learn more about your rights and options by contacting our case review team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today.