In this post, I would like to give you two important tips for making your first meeting with your bankruptcy attorney go smoothly.
When you meet with your bankruptcy attorney, you must have a firm grasp on your average monthly income. If you make the same amount of money on every paycheck you receive, this will be extremely easy. However, I have found that many of my Georgia clients have tremendous income fluctuations.
If you give your bankruptcy attorney the wrong idea about your average monthly income, this can mess up his analysis of your situation. For example, I had one client in my Rome GA office who had received a good deal of overtime before he came in to meet with me. When I look at all of his paystubs, I came up with a Chapter 13 payment that he said would never work for him. After we spent a significant amount of time going through his budget and looking his paystubs, we figured out that his overtime has recently been completely cut out. As a consequence, we were able to lower the payment and create a plan that worked.
In another case in my Dalton GA office, I was meeting with a client who needed to make a certain amount to make her Chapter 13 work but I just did not see how it could possibly work on paper. Again, we spent some time going through the budget and then she realized that she had forgotten to tell me about the social security income that she received for one of her children. After I plugged that information into the bankruptcy schedules, the plan worked perfectly.
The best place to start examining your fluctuating income is to look at your paystubs for the last six months. In most cases, we can get an accurate projection of your income this way.
However, there are some situations where the last six months is not a good reflection of what you are going to make going forward. For example, if you have recently switched jobs, you may have received overtime at the last job that you will not be receiving going forward. Or the opposite may be true. Perhaps you will be working longer hours in your new job. Either way, your bankruptcy attorney needs to know in order to give you an accurate analysis.
The second tip for making your first meeting with your bankruptcy attorney go smoothly is for you to have a list of every single debt you have in the entire world. List everything! Many clients think that their credit report will contain all of their debts. The truth is that not every single one of your creditors will appear on your credit report because some of them don’t report activity at all.
When your bankruptcy attorney has a clear view of your entire economic situation, he will be able to come up with a plan that works.
If you just want general information, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of a free consultation to give you an idea of how the process works. If you think you will be ready to file bankruptcy, your first appointment will go much quicker if you download our questionnaire and fill it out beforehand.
much faster if you come prepared.