When you feel like debt is getting the best of you, sometimes the best solution is to declare bankruptcy and start over. Generally, this is done under the guidance of a bankruptcy attorney, which means that meeting with such an attorney should be your first step. Here are some tips to ensure that the meeting is productive and informative.
Bring your financial information.
Knowing that you have about $50,000 in debt or about $300 to your name is not quite enough. The qualifications for various types of bankruptcy are pretty precise. So, to decide whether or not you qualify, a bankruptcy attorney really needs to have a clear picture of your financial situation. Prior to your meeting, gather as much financial information as you can. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, and loan information. When in doubt, just bring it along. It's better to have extra documents than too few.
Be open to suggestions.
Be careful not to get too attached to any one solution to your financial problems before you meet with the attorney. The lawyer may end up telling you that you don't qualify for bankruptcy or that you only qualify to file a certain chapter of bankruptcy. Then again, they may tell you that bankruptcy truly is your only way forward. Remember, the lawyer is the professional, and their insight into your situation means a lot more than the opinion of a friend or neighbor. So make sure you arrive at this meeting ready to listen to and take suggestions, regardless of what they may be.
Most bankruptcy attorneys understand that their clients don't have a lot of money to spare. As such, they are usually willing to take payments towards their services or to delay payment until your bankruptcy case has been settled. However, you should still be prepared to talk to the bankruptcy attorney about their fees during this meeting. If the fees are higher than you feel comfortable with, then it may be worth meeting with other bankruptcy attorneys to see how their fees compare. You should also be honest with this lawyer about any concerns about fees, though. There may be something they can do to help.
Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer can be a little nerve-wracking. However, if you follow the tips above, you can have a productive meeting and gain some useful insight into your present financial situation and the best way forward.