If you are thinking about declaring bankruptcy, you may want to schedule a meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer too. A lawyer can assess your case and determine if bankruptcy is the right option. Here are a few ways to prepare for your first consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
During your initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer, he or she will ask you multiple questions to learn more about your financial situation. For example, your lawyer may ask how much money you earn each year and how much debt you currently have. He or she may also want to know if your creditors have judgments against you and what your assets are worth. It’s important to answer each question honestly. Do not be afraid to tell your lawyer the truth because he or she has likely heard it all before.
Organize Your Documents
Do not go to your first meeting with your bankruptcy lawyer empty handed. It is wise to bring documents pertaining to your case, such as tax returns, pay tubs, bank statements and mortgage and car loan statements. These documents will help a bankruptcy assess your case more effectively and give you the proper advice.
Create a List of Questions
At your first consultation, your bankruptcy lawyer should not be the only person asking questions. It is also important to ask your own set of questions. For instance, you may want to ask the lawyer how long he or she has been practicing bankruptcy law and how many cases he or she handles a year. You may also want to find out which bankruptcy you should file and how long the process will take. Write down these questions in a notebook so that you do not forget any of them.
Be Prepared to Discuss Fees
During your first consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer, you may likely talk about fees. When you are struggling to pay down debt, the thought of discussing fees may be daunting. However, it is important to know about the fees from the beginning. Your lawyer may even allow you to make payments in installments.