Bankruptcy laws are something that not many people are familiar with, as it’s not every day that you have to file for one. This means that there are many different nuances and issues that you may not be aware of. For this reason, you need to work with a professional bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you can come out of the case on your own terms.
A bankruptcy attorney can help to negotiate with creditors on your behalf in order to come up with a repayment plan that will work for both sides. Additionally, they can represent your best interests in case the creditors are trying to take more than they’re owed.
To help you have a better picture of what to expect when working with a bankruptcy attorney, here’s all you need to know:
Learn as Much as You Can About Bankruptcy Laws
- The first thing you need to do before coming into the meeting is to do some research. You can’t hope to make the most of your case if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, which is why you need to learn as much about bankruptcy cases as possible. This will help to cut down the briefing time significantly, which means that the meeting will be much more productive and less time-consuming. You need to provide all the financial evidence along with your taxes, loans, marital status, and other relevant financial statements. These pieces of information will give the attorney a better picture of how they should pitch the negotiation and what they can use as your bargaining chip.
To help your lawyer fully understand the nature of your case, here are some questions you should ask yourself before coming into the meeting:
- Is the situation you’re in now the result of one major event or a culmination of a series of decisions?
- Did you lose your job or another source of income prior to filing for bankruptcy?
- Are you facing lawsuits and other legal actions from your creditors?
- Do you have a detailed version of your financial history?
- Have any of your creditors obtained a judgment against you?
- Is your home in the process of being foreclosed?
- Are you in the eviction process?
- Have your assets been repossessed?
Depending on these situations, the attorney will have to change their approach to the case, so you need to be sure to provide them with all the information that they need to know.
Bring a Detailed Version of Your Financial Records
Having complete financial records with you will help to speed up the discussion process while ensuring that your attorney understands what to do with your case.
Listed below are the documents that you should bring with you to the first meeting:
- At least 2 years worth of tax returns history
- 7 months of bank statements and pay stubs
- Copies of your mortgage and any other loan documents for every asset and property
- Foreclosure, eviction, lawsuits, garnishments, or other legal actions documents and evidence
- Copies of any investment statement such as 401k and retirement funds
- A copy of your driver’s license and social security card
- A list of all your debts, including credit cards, medical bills, auto loans, mortgages, etc
- A detailed list of each creditor and total owed amount
It’s ideal if you are able to provide all of the required evidence and documents. That being said, even if you can’t, set up a meeting anyway. Your lawyer can help you find a suitable solution for your situation regardless of the available documents that you can provide.
What Can My Bankruptcy Lawyer Do for Me?
Your bankruptcy lawyer’s main responsibility is to represent your best interests. Therefore, their goal is to ensure that you have the best chances of receiving a more suitable payment plan for your debts. The lawyer will focus on the details of the case. They will assess the solutions and available options as well as provide you with all the necessary advice on the matter.
They will do their best to ensure that they can give accurate and conclusive answers to your inquiries so that you can have a better grasp of the entire situation. The most important thing that you need to make sure of when you work with an attorney is that you can trust them. The court’s sentencing will have a long-lasting effect on your financial status for years to come, so you need to make sure that the lawyer is as transparent and honest with you as possible.