Making the decision to file is a difficult one. Choosing the right attorney is a pretty daunting task as well. Now that all that is done it is time to make and go to your first appointment.
Expect to be a little anxious. You are about to commit to a big lifestyle change. Just remember that this is a necessary step to being able to move on with your life and getting rid of all your financial troubles.
Besides your nerves, what else should you expect to see/ get in your first appointment with your bankruptcy lawyer?
You are going to go over your case. How much are you in debt? Is it mostly credit cards? Have you paid your taxes? How much secured debt do you have (debt in which you had to provide collateral or one where the creditor could reposes the item you are paying for like a car)? Do you have any outstanding doctor bills? How far behind are you? What started you on this road? Has anyone filed suit or sent your case to collections yet?
Essentially, your lawyer will want to get a complete picture of what you owe, to whom, and why you need to file for bankruptcy. More than likely your lawyer will tell you what you will be filing for (i.e. Chapter 7, 13).
Once that is covered expect to go over the paperwork, all the things you are going to have to do in order to file. There is a pretty fair amount of things you will have to do and paperwork which you will have to fill out. Do not worry if you do not understand it all or forget some of his instructions. You are going to pay for his/ her expertise, so do not be afraid to call or email with questions.
Along with discussing the paperwork, your lawyer will talk about the general steps involved. First will be filling out all the paperwork and turning it in to your lawyer so your case can be filed. Once it is all the collection calls, legal proceedings, property sales, etc. will stop. A date will be set for your confirmation hearing. This will be at your local federal courthouse; this is where your creditors can object if they so choose. (A very rare occurrence). Before your case can be filed you will have to complete a counseling course; you will have to do another one before your case can be discharged as well. These are both pretty straightforward programs that can be done online.
Once you have your hearing, it is only a matter of time before your case gets officially discharged. In the interim, your creditors will have a chance to object, but at this point it is highly unlikely.
That is basically what your first appointment will be like. You will discuss what got you there, how bad things are, what you need to do, what the steps in the process are, and how to rebuild your credit post-bankruptcy.
From the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt, with offices in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville and Wilson. Call today to set up your free initial debt consultation. 1-888-234-4181.