Whether to file bankruptcy is a very important decision to make.

Filing bankruptcy can be a powerful tool with great benefits, but if not handled properly can have disastrous consequences.

Before any qualified bankruptcy attorney files a bankruptcy case for someone, they must have a comprehensive consultation with the potential client to evaluate and assess the relevant facts of that client’s situation.

This is necessary to determine the various options, both inside and outside of bankruptcy.

Give Accurate Information to Your Bankruptcy Attorney

In order for a bankruptcy attorney to make a proper assessment of a person’s eligibility to file bankruptcy (including which chapter to file under, if any) it is absolutely necessary for the attorney to have certain financial and other information about the party or parties considering bankruptcy. This includes information on current income and expenses, as well as information on what income was received in the 6 months prior, information on value of assets and, of course, the debts.

I require my potential clients to complete online forms providing this information so I can give them the best possible advice with as much accuracy as is possible these days. However, many people refuse to complete these forms because they simply do not want to provide the information (yet?) to me and simply want me to talk to them and tell them what they should do bankruptcy-wise. After having practiced exclusively bankruptcy law for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that without the hard numbers and information, this is impossible.

This is the equivalent of going to a doctor with a problem you need resolved, but you won’t let the doctor run any blood tests or get a medical history from you. There may be doctors who try to treat patients this way, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

It is important to have reasonable expectations in whatever path you take in life, and seeing a bankruptcy attorney is no different. If you’re serious enough to seek the input of a bankruptcy attorney, then you should be prepared to put together the necessary information and documentation to enable that professional to best assess your options and assist you in resolving your issues to the extent able under the law.

Photo by Heathbrandon