If you’re facing insurmountable debt, you may be considering bankruptcy as a means to a fresh start. One common mistake in this situation is waiting too long to speak to an attorney. Speaking to an attorney about your situation can feel intimidating, and many people put it off for as long as they can. When, in reality, speaking to an attorney early on can help you understand the bankruptcy process. Having this clarity will help you weigh your options.
Free Bankruptcy Consultation
Money’s tight, can you really sit down with an attorney to discuss your options? The good news is that bankruptcy attorneys work with people facing huge debts every day. They are sympathetic to your situation, and many of them are happy to provide a free bankruptcy consultation. During such a consultation, you may sit down with an attorney or a trusted member of their staff to discuss your situation. They can often give you a good idea of whether bankruptcy is a good option for you, and tell you what your next steps would be.
How to get the Most out of a Bankruptcy Evaluation
Before you meet with your attorney, gather up as many details about your personal finances as you can. Try to come prepared with as much as you can:
- Monthly Bills – a list of your monthly bills, who you pay them to, your average monthly payment, and how much you owe in overdue payments. This should include everything from rent to utilities to your phone bill.
- Personal Debt – details on every debt that you currently owe. Who you owe, how much you owe them, the terms of the debt and if you have missed any payments. Examples of personal debt include credit cards, medical debt, mortgages, car loans and student loans.
- Household Income – an important detail for your attorney to know is what your household income looks like. Include your salary or wages, but also consider any income from rental properties, contract work, etc.
- Your Assets – also be ready to detail any assets that your household owns. This could include a home, vehicles, cash savings, stocks, or anything else of value. Your attorney will want to consider how best to protect these assets during your bankruptcy.
Your time is valuable, as is your attorney’s, so come ready to discuss these details and your bankruptcy evaluation may help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you!
How to Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Use these valuable bankruptcy consultations to interview a number of bankruptcy lawyers. You should take the time to meet with at least a couple of bankruptcy attorneys in your area to make sure you find someone you are comfortable with. The best way to find attorneys who offer these bankruptcy evaluations may be to look online or in the phone book.
This website offers a free bankruptcy evaluation form which will help you find at least one attorney in your area. That’s a great place to start, and you’ll essentially be introduced to the attorney with much of the information they need already gathered. You can also look at your local phone book to find more attorneys to meet with.