Filing for bankruptcy is always stressful, but a good attorney can make the process much easier. Those who have never visited an attorney may be curious about what to expect. Read on to find out how to prepare for an initial consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney in Puyallup Wa to assuage any lingering anxiety before the meeting.
Provide Proof of Income and Assets
Bankruptcy attorneys will need to review their clients’ financial information in order to make appropriate suggestions. Bring copies of relevant documents like the last two years’ tax returns, pay stubs, W-2s, bank account balances, and proof of income from social security, disability, and rental properties. This will make it easier for the attorney to understand his or her client’s financial situation.
Bring Documentation of Outstanding Debts
Compile a list of outstanding debts, including mortgages, personal loans, and credit card debts. Bring relevant paperwork like foreclosure documents, proof of expenses related to child support or alimony, and documentation of liens from personal loans.
Prepare to Answer Questions
Answering sensitive financial questions may not be fun but it is necessary. Attorneys need to know exactly how much their clients owe to creditors and what assets they have. Clients will have to answer questions during their bankruptcy hearings as well, so it’s important for attorneys to have access to all relevant information.
Write Down Questions to Ask
Most clients hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney In Puyallup Wa have a few questions of their own about what to expect during the bankruptcy proceeding. Write down questions in advance and be sure to ask about the attorney’s fee schedule, his or her experience working on personal bankruptcy cases, and what to expect throughout the filing process. Don’t just assume the right questions will come to mind, as bankruptcy consultations can be stressful.
The Means Test
Washington state uses what’s known as a means test to determine whether debtors are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A good attorney will explain this test to his or her clients during the initial consultation. Clients shouldn’t panic if they can’t meet the standards for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as those who don’t pass the means test may still be eligible to file for Chapter 13.