Visiting a bankruptcy lawyer for an initial consultation is a great option if you need help finding a way out of debt. During this visit, you can learn more about the various branches of bankruptcy and which one could help you the most. Here is what you should bring with you to this visit, as well as what you will learn from it.
What You Should Bring to the Appointment
If you want to get the most out of this initial visit, you will need to bring the right types of documents with you. By doing this, you can show your lawyer exactly what types of debts you have, and this is necessary if you want accurate advice and help from the lawyer. Here are the main things you should bring:
- Recent paystubs
- Credit card statements
- Loan details
- Unpaid medical bills
- Letters from the IRS for tax debt you owe
- Child support payment information
- Student loan bills
- A list of all assets you own
To get the best advice for your unique situation, your lawyer will want to know exactly what debts you have, as well as what assets you own. When you schedule a consultation visit, the law office might give you a list of things to bring, and the list they offer might include things not listed here. Be sure to bring everything they ask for.
What You Will Learn While You're There
The first thing you will learn is what branches of bankruptcy you qualify for. To learn this, the lawyer will begin the visit by examining your income. The lawyer will use your income information to complete a means test.
To complete this test, the lawyer will need to know exactly how much money you earned in the last six months. The means test includes all forms of income, including wages, bonuses, inheritances, child support received, and cash prizes won through the lottery.
If your income is low enough, you will qualify for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If it is too high, you will qualify for Chapter 13 only. When the lawyer completes this, you will know exactly which branch you qualify for.
Secondly, you will learn which branch would offer the best results for your debt problems, if you qualify for both branches. To determine the answer to this, the lawyer will examine the debts you have. Once the lawyer reviews your debts, they can explain which option would work best.
Additionally, you can learn the effects filing for bankruptcy would have on your debts. For example, if you file for Chapter 7, the lawyer will explain to you that you might lose certain assets you own but will receive a discharge of certain debts.
If you file for Chapter 13, the lawyer will help you understand the basics of this branch of law. They will explain that Chapter 13 requires a repayment plan of debts, but it does not pose risks for losing assets.
Finally, the lawyer will explain the process of filing for either type of bankruptcy, including what you should expect, what you must do, and the consequences filing will have on your credit.
After meeting with a lawyer, you will not have to file for bankruptcy if you choose not to, but you will have the information you need to make a wise, informed decision about filing for bankruptcy.
If you cannot afford to pay your debt payments any longer, visit a bankruptcy lawyer today. You can learn more about bankruptcy by scheduling an initial consultation visit with the Law Office of Cowan & Brady.