If you’ve reached the point where you know you have to talk with someone about your money issues, the next step is to set up a time to speak with an attorney who practices bankruptcy law. At Kain + Henehan, you can have that meeting several different ways. You can meet in person. You can talk over the phone. You can use the Zoom, FaceTime or Skype platforms to have this meeting via video conference. The choice is yours.
So what should you expect from this initial appointment? Is there anything you need to do to prepare to meet with the attorney? I think the amount of preparation any client does in anticipation of an initial conference is completely up to the individual client. Some people feel better if they’ve collected some information about their finances, but it’s really not necessary to do a lot of research or to have a lot of information at your fingertips.
The purpose of the first meeting is to get to know the attorney, and for the attorney to get some baseline, generalized financial information that will enhance the advice the attorney gives. So while a complete and accurate financial report is going to be needed if a client decides to file a bankruptcy case, at the early stages of representation, information does not have to be pin-point. And please remember that your conversation with your attorney is privileged – that is, the conversation you have with the attorney is absolutely confidential. So there’s no reason to worry about telling your attorney all that you know about your situation – being completely honest guarantees the best representation and best outcomes you can hope for if you file a bankruptcy case.
If you meet with an attorney from Kain + Henehan, you should expect to have to supply basic identification information and also let us know about aspects of your life that bankruptcy touches on, such as marital status, size of your household, your employment (with salary/wage information). You’ll also need to give us information about assets you own such as real estate, vehicles, jewelry and recreational equipment. And we’re going to want to know about the debt profile that you bring with you – do you unsecured creditors (credit cards and doctor bills), secured creditors (car loans and real estate mortgages) and/or debts owed to the government, and/or debts incurred through a separation or divorce, such as child support or spousal maintenance.
Once the attorney has your background, the two of you can talk about solutions to the financial problems. The attorney will explain the way a bankruptcy would work in your case – fees, process, timelines and outcomes. And the attorney will take as much time as needed to make sure the questions you have are answered. It’s not a bad idea to write down questions that are at the front of your mind prior to the meeting, to make sure your questions get asked and answered. When that first appointment is over, the next step is up to you.
If you see one of the attorneys at Kain + Henehan there’s no obligation involved with that meeting – you, the client, are free to retain our office to represent you in a bankruptcy case, or hire another law firm, or just do nothing – the choice is up to you. So if you’ve been stressed trying to figure out how to make your finances work and you see the need to talk with an experienced, capable attorney about your choices, make an appointment to speak with an attorney from Kain + Henehan. We’re here to help you. Find us at kainhenehan.com.