You're ready to seek professional help from a qualified bankruptcy attorney.. Now what? What should you do to prepare for your first meeting with your prospective attorney?
Step One: Quit Digging
You know the old saying about how to get out of a hole; the first step is to stop digging. Your decision to consider bankruptcy should not be accompanied by a last minute spending spree. If nothing else, this period can be a good time for you to practice a financially conservative mode of living.
Step Two: Document Your Debts
Call your prospective attorney and ask for a pre-interview questionnaire. If the attorney has any experience in bankruptcy law, he will provide a questionnaire containing numerous questions about your debts, income and assets. Answering the questionnaire will force you to take an honest inventory of all of your outstanding debts. There's nothing to be ashamed of or worried about in cataloging who you owe money to. Your attorney needs to know the extent of your debt in order to decide the best course of action.
Step Three: Document Your Income
Just as your detailed accounting of your debts is important, so is the amount of money you're bringing in. Also provide details about changes in your employment, such as a recent layoff or reduction in hours. This will help your attorney understand the big picture of your financial life, and how you can make the most out of bankruptcy.
Step Four: Document Your Assets
Make a list of everything you own which might be a potential source of income if sold. For example, list any large items such as your home, car or boat which you either own outright, or if you have a loan, list how much the payoff amount is. Then consider any other unusual property items which might be of value, such as antique collections, artwork, expensive tools, or livestock.
The purpose of listing your assets is not because they will be sold in the bankruptcy. In most cases, any assets you own are probably worth less than state exemption allowances, and so they will not be at risk in the bankruptcy. By informing your attorney of the full extent of your assets, you can be fully advised what might be at risk, as well as what steps can be taken to protect even non-exempt property.
Step Five: Get Ready to file
With the information detailed above, you're ready to move forward with your bankruptcy. Understand that you are not alone in the process. Your attorney will help guide you step by step so that you can make the most of your fresh start. Serving North Carolina residents, the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt has helped thousands of families get back on track. Call today to set up your free initial consultation. 1-888-234-4181