Initial Bankruptcy Consultation-What Happens?

Posted By : admin
Category : Bankruptcy
26 - Feb - 2014

One of the hardest parts of considering bankruptcy is knowing that you are going to have to tell a stranger about your finances.  People are embarrassed and don’t like telling an attorney about their finances.  I (Erika Singler) have often said that the hardest part of filing bankruptcy is making the call to the lawyer’s office.  Even though most people tell me that they feel better after having spoken to me I know it is not an appointment that anyone is looking forward to in the least.  My goal through this blog is to walk you through what happens at that first appointment because I think fear of the unknown holds some people back from coming to speak to a professional.

Each appointment is a bit different, but below I am laying out specifically how a typical consultation goes at Halcomb Singler:

Introductions.  Then I usually ask what brought the person in to meet with me.  I have found that most people have a story to tell about what caused their debt issues.  THIS IS NOT A TEST!  It is not something that I must hear, but it gives me the ability to anticipate issues and more importantly I have found that most people want to tell me about their situation and how they fell on financial hard times.

  1. I ask where people work , the number of children that they have and the ages of the children.
  2. Next we talk about assets and approximate value of those assets.  For example.  Do you own  a home?  About how much do you think it’s worth?  What kind of car(s) do you own?  Are there loans on the cars?  About how much are those loans.  I understand that these are all approximate values and approximate debts.
  3. Next we go through your income.  I will ask you how often you are paid and how much a typical paycheck is after taxes.  I will ask if you have any other sources of income.
  4. At this point we will go through your living expenses.  Rent/Mortgage payment, car payment, insurance, utility expenses, food, gas, medical expenses, etc.
  5. At this point I have gathered most of the information that I need from you to make a recommendation about whether or not I would recommend that you file bankruptcy.  This is the point in the meeting that I typically explain Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how the Court determines whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If possible I will then focus on the type of bankruptcy that you could benefit from filing (assuming I think you are a good candidate for bankruptcy) and explain the process to you.  I will also talk to you about bankruptcy exemptions….meaning, the amount of property that is protected from your creditors.
  6. At this point I will explain the fees involved with any further representation that I am recommending and ask whether you have any questions.

THAT’S IT.  If either I don’t recommend that you file bankruptcy or you don’t wish to proceed with bankruptcy after speaking with me you walk out the door.  I don’t pressure you to put money down toward bankruptcy or send you a bill in the mail later for our consultation.  It is a free consultation.  I also don’t sit you in front of a video monitor to explain the different types of bankruptcy or have you meet with a paralegal and just come in at the end of the appointment.  I handle each initial bankruptcy appointment personally so that I can fully explain the process and answer any questions that you may have regarding bankruptcy and/or debt settlement.

Sounds fairly painless to me.  If you would like to set up a consultation please click here or call our Carmel office at (317) 575-8222.  Halcomb Singler represents people who live all over Indianapolis and the surrounding counties.

Halcomb Singler, LLP, is a debt relief agency.  It helps people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.  No attorney-client relationship with the firm of Halcomb Singler, LLP, is created through this blog. Also, please note that Erika Singler is an attorney licensed in Indiana and does not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so.  The information contained in this blog is general in nature and should not be relied upon for the circumstances of any individual(s) or businesses.