The Bankruptcy Consultation – what to bring to your lawyer!

Maybe a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you. Maybe creditors are calling you non-stop. Maybe you are in danger of losing your home. Whatever the reason, you are considering talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.

So what is your bankruptcy lawyer going to be interested in hearing? It may not be what you think. It’s been my experience as a Newnan, Georgia bankruptcy lawyer that people want most to tell me about their debts and other problems. It makes sense because you’ve probably been focused on these problems and you just need to tell someone who understands!  But there are other things that will have a much bigger impact on a bankruptcy case than the types and of your debt.

The item I want to know about is your income and the income of everyone living with you. Why? Well, one of the primary determinations I must make is which type of case you will be allowed to file. Many people want to file a chapter 7 case due to the immediate fresh start it offers. The amount of your family income is a primary consideration in a chapter 7 case. The source of your income may also have important implications. For instance, if the source of your income is all from social security, my recommendation may be different than if the source is from your job.

I will also want to know all about your assets. How much are your cars worth? How much is your house worth?  What sources did you use to find the value? You’ll also need to know how much, if anything, you still owe on these assets. I need to know whether you might lose your property by filing a bankruptcy case and this information is critical for making that determination.

Lastly, I certainly will want to know about your debts. I want to know what kind of debts you have and how much you owe. I’ll also want to know whether you are behind on your payments or whether you’ve been able to keep them current.

Of course there will ultimately be additional information required, but your income, your assets, and the amounts and nature of your debts will be the major focus of the initial consultation.

by Rick Palmer

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