Monday, August 1, 2011

Free Consultation - What to Bring

Many attorneys offer free consultations regarding bankruptcy.  Why are they free?  Well, some attorneys are simply looking for business.  But more often, attorneys are offering this as a public service to people they know are financially strapped.

You will also find that consultation range in time and amount of information the attorney is willing to disclose.  Some attorneys use this as a vehicle to get the client in the door and quote a price.  On the other end of the pendulum, there are attorneys that chose to educate and empower their potential client.  Of course, this also leads to clients having anywhere from a 10 minute consultation to an hour or longer consultation.

What to bring to the consultation?  Well, as you might imagine, this will also vary according to the attorney.  I believe you will find, if you called all the bankruptcy attorneys in your area, some require no documents, some will require extensive documents, and everything in between. 

For example, in my office, for an initial consultation, I am one that is in the in between category.  I ask that they have an understanding on generally how much is owed and to whom it is owed, how much has been received in gross income over the past 6 months, the balance owed on secured items and the approximate number of payment left if less that 5 years of payments are left, and the make, model, and number of miles on their vehicles.

I do not require a lot of documents for an initial consultation.  The consultation is for the purpose of empowering the person by understanding where he or she stands as it relates to the bankruptcy code.  Before attending a bankruptcy consultation, contact the attorney's office and ask what documents you should bring with you.

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