1. What to expect. The first time you meet with us, we’ll give you at least an hour of our time for a free consultation. See the pictures on the front page of our site? The guy on the right is Blake, and the guy on the left is Dave. If you don’t see either of us, you’re probably in the wrong place. You might also see Bess. She’s our bankruptcy case manager and she sits in on a lot of our meetings.
And just so you know, your free consultation isn’t like a visit to the doctor, where you spend most of your time with a nurse or intern until the doc breezes through at the very end. When you come in to see us, you will always meet with an attorney (or sometimes two of us, depending on how busy we are that day).
2. Bring documents. We ask you to bring documents to your free consultation that help us understand the issues you’re facing. We send prospective clients a copy of our new client form, bankruptcy document checklist and income and expenses worksheet by email before your free consultation (don’t worry–it shouldn’t take too long to fill out all three). The most important things we need from you are your last six months of paystubs (or other proof of income if you don’t receive paychecks) and a list of your household income and expenses. We need these things to figure out whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will be a better fit for you.
Do your best to bring these documents. If you can’t find everything, don’t worry about it, but if you bring everything we ask for, we can get more accomplished during the free consultation.
3. Brush up on bankruptcy. We’re happy to explain the ins and outs of bankruptcy to you. We do this stuff all day, and we like to share what we know with you. But if you study up a little bit and understand the basics, we might be able to delve into deeper issues on the first meeting, meaning we can get more accomplished in the free consultation. If you’re the type who likes to do your own research, our blog is a good first resource. We also recommend the Bankruptcy Law Network’s posts, but remember that they’re focused nationally, and because the law is different from state to state, not all the information will apply to you.
4. After the free consultation. Sometimes we can sort out all the major issues in your free consultation and decide on a course of action.If there are more complex issues, it may take a week or two of collecting information after the first meeting to figure out how best to help you. Bess will usually help you gather all the information we need. Once we decide what we can do in your case, we can talk about price, timing of your filing, etc. Throughout this process, feel free to ask any questions that come to mind.
Still have other questions before you’re ready to make that first appointment? Let us know.