SUMMARY: Meeting With A Bankruptcy Attorney? What Questions Will My Bankruptcy Lawyer Ask?
I’ve had many clients confess, part way through the bankruptcy process, that they were extremely nervous prior to our initial consultation. To their own detriment, I believe that several even postponed filing because of this anxiety. I have to say that my feelings were just a little hurt when I realized that many people have a sort of attorney-phobia. Come on, it’s not like I am a dentist! (Ok, low blow – I apologize to all dentists out there).
If you ask any long term clients, you will find that this fear is quickly diminished. One of my top priorities is creating a comfortable and relaxed environment for my bankruptcy clients. However in hopes of appeasing future clients that haven’t yet gotten to know me, I have provided a list of questions I may ask during our initial consultation. See? It isn’t so bad:
Have you lived in Arizona for longer than 2 consecutive years? Are you currently a U.S. citizen?
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before? What was the date it was filed? Do you understand that 8 years must pass from the date of your past chapter 7 filing before you can file again?
Can you estimate your current debt amount? Assets? Do you know the approximate proportion of secured vs. unsecured?
Do you own your home? What is the current mortgage balance? What is the estimated value? Do you understand that the Arizona chapter 7 bankruptcy housing exemption is $150,000?
Do you regularly file taxes? Are you currently owed a refund from the state or federal government? Do you understand that tax refunds are generally not exempt when filing bankruptcy in Arizona?
Do you currently own a car? Do you own several cars? What is the equity in said cars? Do you understand that the California chapter 7 bankruptcy automobile exemption is?