Your Legal Rights at Work

Preparing For Your Initial Meeting With A Bankruptcy Attorney

by Lewis Hamilton

When you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you have likely found yourself in an emergency financial situation. Getting the process initiated as quickly as possible is important. Did you know that your ability to provide accurate information plays a pivotal role when it comes to just how swiftly your case progresses in bankruptcy law? Make certain you are properly prepared for your first meeting with your bankruptcy attorney.

Collecting Financial Documents

Gather important financial documents before your meeting, including pay stubs, bank statements, asset listings and current expenses. An inability to pay debts doesn't automatically qualify you for bankruptcy. The circumstances in which you amassed the debt and the types of debts are also important factors.

When you bring this information to your initial meeting, the attorney will quickly be able to determine if you have a chance of success. Even if you aren't eligible for bankruptcy, the attorney can still work with you to devise a plan for paying off your debts. Either way, providing this information can get the ball rolling.

Being An Open Book

For most people, finances are a taboo subject. However, you're going to have to allow your attorney to go deep into an area that you might not be very comfortable talking about. If you're not prepared to be an open book, your attorney won't just fail to get the information they need, but if you give inaccurate information, it can seriously jeopardize your case in the future.

Even if it's something you don't want to admit to, such as spending feverishly, this is information that your attorney needs to know so that your case can be prepared accordingly. Be prepared to put everything on the table.

Changing Bad Habits

An attorney is only as good as their client. If your attorney is fighting on your behalf, but you're still engaging in bad spending habits – you are only making matters worse. At your initial meeting, be ready to make a commitment to cease any bad financial habits that may have played a role in your current situation.

Take someone that excessively uses their credit card, for instance. This type of individual would need to commit to stop using their card as it will be difficult for an attorney to explain their financial situation if they're only accumulating more debt.

For many people, bankruptcy is a path away from a financial catastrophe. The more effort you put into the process, the better the outcome, so make sure you are prepared from the very start.