Preparing for your Consultation

by Paige Wright

If you are filing a bankruptcy case with an attorney, the first appointment you will have is often called a consultation.  The consultation allows an attorney to understand your financial situation and provide you with the best advice for filing a bankruptcy cases.  At Licata Bankruptcy Firm, our consultations typically last an hour and we offer consultations free of charge.  This first meeting will give you the opportunity to meet the people that will be handling your bankruptcy case from start to finish and give you time to ask any questions you may have about your situation.

At the initial consultation, you will review basic financial information.  You may already know this information, but some people prefer to review their financial situation before they come in.  Some of the things we discuss at initial consultations include:

  • Household income including: wages from employment or the operation of a business, retirement or pension income, government assistance, adoption or foster subsidies, disability income, and any other source of income you may have.  The court looks at the six month period prior to a bankruptcy case filing in order to determine your eligibility to file certain types of bankruptcy cases, so much of the income discussion will focus on that time period.
  • Property and its value: Do you own real estate/land?  Do you own a vehicle?  Do you have other valuable personal property such as fancy jewelry or artwork?  If you own these things, how much are they worth?
  • Your debts: How much do you owe on secured debts?  Secured debts are debts were there is collateral for the debt such as a car loan or a house loan.  How much do you own on other debts such as taxes, credit cards, medical, personal or signature loans, payday loans, student loans, repossession or foreclosure deficiencies?

Knowing the basics of your situation will allow an attorney to analyze your case and make a recommendation for you.  A Springfield, Missouri Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will also take the time to review the process and fees for the type of bankruptcy that is best suited for you.  He or she will inform you of complications with your particular case or let you know if bankruptcy is not the best option for you.

If you are considering bankruptcy, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation.  The consultation does not obligate you to file, and we never charge a fee for our initial meeting.  Let us know if we can help you.

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