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What to Do Before Your First Meeting with a Bankruptcy Lawyer

What to Do Before Your First Meeting with a Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you believe that bankruptcy is the best option to finally overcome your massive debt, then you must first meet with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to figure out if bankruptcy is the best course of action. In order to obtain the best possible advice, you must prepare for your initial meeting with a lawyer. 

Do Not Feel Embarrassed or Shy 

It is not uncommon to feel ashamed or timid about revealing your financial struggles to someone you just met. However, bankruptcy attorneys are used to dealing with clients with similar or even more debt than you. 

Bankruptcy lawyers are committed to finding the most favorable solution to your situation, rather than make any judgments. In addition, attorneys know how emotional the beginning of your bankruptcy journey can be and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Bring Financial Documents to the Meeting 

When you schedule a consultation with an attorney, he/she may ask you to bring certain documents to your initial meeting. If they do not, then the list below should help you obtain the documents necessary to give the lawyer a good idea of your financial situation. 

Common documents to bring to your first meeting include: 

  • Your driver’s license 

  • Your social security card 

  • Your pay stubs and bank statements over the last seven months 

  • Your tax returns from the previous two years 

  • Copies of your current mortgage and car loan statements 

  • The current estimated value of your car 

  • If your home is being foreclosed, then all foreclosure-related documents 

  • Copies of current statements from your investment and retirement accounts 

Questions to Ask the Lawyer 

During your first meeting, you want to be completely informed about your situation, which means asking the attorney questions related to your debt. Ensure you write down as many questions as possible before attending your meeting. 

Common questions to ask a bankruptcy lawyer include: 

  • Should I file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? 

  • How much are your legal services? 

  • Do I need to pay the fees upfront or do you have a payment plan option? 

  • What do and don’t the fees include? 

  • Can I keep my home and car? 

  • Can I keep my bank accounts and other property? 

  • How long will it take to prepare and file my petition? 

Questions the Lawyer Will Ask You 

The attorney will ask you questions in order to get a better idea of your life and debts. They will want to determine why you believe bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation. 

Common questions a bankruptcy lawyer may ask include: 

  • Are you are married and/or have children? 

  • How much money did you earn? 

  • How much money did your spouse earn? 

  • How much income you have earned over the last six months? 

  • Are you a business owner? 

  • Do you have any assets? If so, how much are they worth? 

  • Did you recently sell or transfer any property? 

  • Do you owe back taxes? 

  • Do any of your creditors have judgments against you? 

  • Have you missed any alimony and/or child support payments? 

  • What is your goal after filing for bankruptcy? 

Being prepared before your first meeting with a prospective bankruptcy attorney can not only help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you, but also if the lawyer is the best legal advocate for your situation. 

If you or a loved one is interested in filing for bankruptcy in Northbrook, IL, contact Bach Law Offices today at (847) 448-0025 and speak with our experienced bankruptcy attorney. 

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