What to Expect at Your Bankruptcy Consultation and How to Prepare
The thought of filing for bankruptcy can often lead to roller coaster emotions and quite frankly feel intimidating and scary! Don’t worry! By contacting the Sasser Law Firm, you have taken the first step in gaining control over your financial stress and beginning the financial “fresh start” granted to you by a bankruptcy discharge. Upon entering our office for your free consultation, you will be met with a caring staff and experienced attorneys ready to guide you through the bankruptcy process. Listed below are some helpful hints on how to best prepare for this meeting.
1. Honesty is the Best Policy!
Please come prepared to tell us your story. Every client has a different financial path that has lead them to consider filing for bankruptcy protection. No matter the situation, medical expenses, job loss, foreclosure, or poor spending habits, we are here to help! We ask that you include all the details to the best of your ability so we can advise you on how to proceed. This includes having a good, working knowledge of all your debts, such as credit cards, medical bills and student loans. Also consider compiling a list of all loans from friends, family members or business investors including names, mailing addresses and amount owed. If you are involved in a foreclosure proceeding, please bring all documentation you have received from the banking institution’s foreclosure attorney. And if you are receiving letters from the IRS or NC Department of Revenue regarding taxes owed, please bring all documentation you have received from each taxing authority.
2. What Do You Own?
We need to know your personal assets. A home, investment property, vehicle, boat, retirement account and insurance policy are all examples of what we are interested in discussing with you. We need to know what you own so we can help you protect these items on your bankruptcy petition under the North Carolina exemptions. Don’t worry! Just because you list these items on your bankruptcy petition, it doesn’t mean that creditors will be able to come and take your belongings! For a list of North Carolina exemptions, click here.
3. Know Your Monthly Income and Outgoing Expenses
Please bring your most recent paystub and a list of any other income you might receive such as unemployment compensation, disability, social security and spousal or child support. If you are self-employed and do not receive a paycheck, please come with a good, general idea of how much money you have earned in the past six months. We also need to know your monthly expenses. For example: How much is your rent or mortgage payment? How much are your insurance premiums for insurance not deducted from your paycheck [life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, etc.]? Out of pocket medical or dental expenses? Monthly charitable donations? Care of elderly family members? Utility bills? Transportation and child care expenses? Having a good, general idea of how much money you are spending each month is very helpful!
After carefully listening to your story and all the elements that have lead you to our office, we will talk to you about the bankruptcy process and will advise you on how we think you should move forward. Typically, this involves filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Sometimes bankruptcy is not the best option for you. If bankruptcy is not the best option, click here to view a list of other alternatives. We appreciate all the time and effort you will put into making your consultation as successful as possible!
If you would like to schedule a free, initial consultation with the Sasser Law Firm, located in Cary, NC, you may use our contact form or call 919.319.7400.