Preparing for a Bankruptcy Consultation

Mar 21, 2024


When you are struggling financially, figuring out the best debt relief option can be stressful and overwhelming when you are not sure what to do. Often people feel embarrassed or ashamed about being in debt. You may even be anxious about discussing your financial situation with a bankruptcy attorney. Don’t be ashamed; they want to help you, not judge you. An experienced bankruptcy attorney understands that most people need to file bankruptcy due to unforeseen circumstances such as a job loss or medical issue. Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer can help you find a debt relief solution to help you get out of debt, relieve your stress, and get a fresh start. Let’s discuss what to expect during your bankruptcy consultation and how you should prepare for it.

What To Expect During Your Bankruptcy Consultation?

You will meet personally with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your financial situation and goals. Maybe you are getting sued by a creditor and are facing foreclosure, vehicle repossession, wage garnishment or are just overwhelmed with debt and want to stop collection calls. After understanding your goals, the bankruptcy lawyer will ask you several questions about your assets, debts, and income to help figure out the best debt relief option for your situation. Below is a brief explanation of how your assets, debts and income play a role in your debt relief options.

Assets - You will discuss the assets that you own, how they are owned and their estimate fair market value. The attorney wants to make sure all your assets can be protected using the bankruptcy exemptions if you were to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Most people can exempt everything they own and are able to keep all of their assets. If not, the attorney will help you determine if a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or a Wisconsin Section 128 is a better option for you.

Debts – You will discuss the estimated amounts and different types of debts you are dealing with. There are different debt relief options if you are dealing with unsecured debts, secured debts or even tax debt. If you are struggling with a large amount of credit card debt, medical bills, and payday loans, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy eliminates unsecured debts. If you are dealing with a smaller amount of unsecured debts, a Wisconsin Section 128 can help make the repayment of your debt be more manageable. If you are behind on your mortgage or vehicle loan and are facing foreclosure or repossession, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you bring your secured loans current and stop foreclosure and stop repossession. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can also help manage your tax debt.

Income – You will discuss your household income from all sources including employment, business income, child support, unemployment, and retirement income. However, Social Security, Social Security Disability and most Veteran Affairs Income are excluded from the means test. The means test compares your household income to your state’s median income to see if you qualify for debt relief under a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The state you live in and your family size is taken into account. If your household income is too high to qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the attorney will help you determine if a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or a Wisconsin Section 128 is a better option for you. There is no income limit for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or a Wisconsin Section 128.

Once the best debt relief option for your situation has been determined, the lawyer will discuss the process, timeline, and the attorney fees associated with it. The attorney will also answer any questions you may have.

How Should You Prepare for Your Bankruptcy Consultation?

All you need to bring with you to the bankruptcy consultation is knowledge about your assets, debts, and household income. You do not need to have exact amounts, but it is helpful if you have a general idea. There is no need to bring any documents to the bankruptcy consultation. The attorney will give you a list of documents, specific to your circumstances, that he will need to prepare your case. Common documents needed are tax returns, pay stubs, vehicle titles, property tax bills, recorded mortgages, and recorded deeds. The lawyer will get the exact information needed from the documentation.

Many of your questions will be answered throughout the bankruptcy consultation. Of course, any additional question you have will be answered. Putting together a list of questions about bankruptcy can be helpful to ensure all your questions get answered. There is no need to be shy or embarrassed, the lawyer is happy to answer any questions you have.

Free Consultation

Struggling financially is overwhelming; figuring out the best debt relief option for your situation doesn’t have to be. At Pedersen Law Office, LLC we understand how stressful being in debt can be; that is why we offer free consultations. We will discuss your circumstances and goals to help figure out what debt relief option is best for you and help you through the entire process. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.

Category: Bankruptcy

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