How to make the most of your first meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer
Most people facing financial problems are scared. Their lives are out of control. If you are one of these people, your first meeting with a debt relief attorney such as us can help you clearly see, understand and evaluate all your options and develop a plan to take back control of your life. Many people think this simply involves seeing an attorney who then will explain bankruptcy. I suspect some attorneys see people, and tout bankruptcy as a universal solution, without delving into their personal situation, and most importantly any analysis of their business or personal expense structure. These generalized discussions are confusing at best and misleading at worst. People come to me seeking clarity and guidance. They deserve value and individualized guidance The truth is that bankruptcy and your other options cannot be understood in a vacuum. For you to get meaningful advice about what is right for you, you need to do a little thinking and preparation. But that little bit of effort on your part will pay big dividends.
How bankruptcy works for any one person requires an understanding of their personal finances, in some detail. Before we figure out what you can do and where we can take you, we and you both need to know where you are. Getting a handle on what your household (or small business) needs to spend to survive is essential. For individuals, we need to see what you need to spend to meet basic living expenses like housing, food, transportation, childcare and medical care as the prime examples. For businesses, we need to see what are the fixed costs, like rent and other critical expenses, and the variable costs, like salaries and raw material which vary depending on the volume of sales. With this in hand, and with some other key details, we can both see where you are now. Only when we see where you are can we figure out where you might be able to go.
So your preparation is important, but it needn’t be terribly difficult. A half-hour or an hour should be enough. We have carefully designed a pre-interview worksheet and a budget spreadsheet for our individual clients to make the process easier. For our business clients we have some guides and materials.
Either way, when you meet with me you will already be on the road to debt relief. Whether it involves bankruptcy, a mortgage modification, a workout plan or some other strategy, we will be better able to get you started taking control of your life.
We look forward to helping you start down this road, wherever it may take you. We do not sell bankruptcy. We help people develop plans that are right for them.
SRN November 20, 2011