As you can see from my website and my many favorable reviews, I try to give all my clients the best possible service in determining whether bankruptcy is the right course of action and, if so, in getting it accomplished efficiently.
There is, however, much you can do to speed the process and to minimize the associated legal fees. Please note the straightforward 2-page form that you should complete and bring to our first consultation session. That will allow me to quickly assess your overall situation and focus on the questions that are most important. It will also enable me to give you an informed estimate of potential costs and time if bankruptcy is the right step for you. And, it will alert me to any matters like pending foreclosures or repossessions that may require immediate attention.
If you then choose to engage me to handle your bankruptcy, I will provide you a more detailed questionnaire that asks for all the information necessary for the proceeding. You will have to gather up income and expense records, tax returns, real estate details, and other materials, some for up to two years in the past. These are all items that you should have readily available, but it will take a bit of work on your part to assemble them and get them onto the form. My questionnaire is as straightforward as practical, but keep in mind that you are dealing with a Federal court process that is based on ALL the facts of your recent financial life.
You can save many hours of legal time by fully completing the questionnaire before we sit down to commence your case. I keep my fees low by handling cases rapidly but very carefully, but that is only possible if you do your homework the first time through and don’t require multiple rounds of information gathering. I am of course always available to explain any of the questions that cause you concern. But, as your advocate I must have in hand all the data and do the court-required analyses to be sure you qualify for a bankruptcy proceeding and to strategize how best to handle it. You may want to make some decisions early on about trying to keep your home, or a vehicle, and I can give you correct advice on those matters only when I have all the facts available. And, all this can be very time sensitive; you might qualify for Chapter 7 this month and not next if there is, for example, an income change.
Bear in mind that if you organize and supply your information on a timely basis up front, you’ve done the bulk of what you have to do. I take over from there, and you should only have to participate in two mandatory credit-counseling courses (which can be done over the phone) and appear at your creditors meeting. In about three months you should have all this behind you and be on your way with the fresh start for which the bankruptcy laws were intended.
I know that supplying the required information is about as much fun as filling out a tax return, but hopefully this will be a one-time event in your life. And, you can save your money for other purposes just by doing the homework that really only you can do anyway.
My only goal is to serve you as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible if your circumstances are appropriate for a bankruptcy filing. Please keep in mind that you can do a lot to help me accomplish that for you.