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WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED FOR AN INITIAL CONSULTATION?
We go back to “ezchecklist.com” which has the complete list of all the documents and other information that we need including the vital documents including current wage and benefit statements for both parties because, even if you’re married and your spouse is not filing, we still need to show their income information for a household budget. We also need last year’s income tax return and any current lawsuits, garnishments, judgments and anything else that you have a question about; IRS tax notices, state tax notices, local tax notices, student loan notices, whatever is a blister on your heel; bring them in, so that we can address them. The successful clients follow up; we set appointments so that we can get your case filed.
How Do You Determine If Bankruptcy is the Preferred Solution for a Client?
Credit counseling is required before you file bankruptcy. For many clients, the credit counseling course forces you to organize their thoughts. The first thing I do with people is to put together a budget. The budgeting process itself is extremely insightful and instructive.
There are some situations when bankruptcy is not the answer. I’ll tell them to call the creditor and try to work something out. Even though I’m a bankruptcy lawyer and in essence, a hammer, not every problem is a nail. Once you file for bankruptcy, you have to disclose that for the rest of your life; it will be listed on every financial application for the rest of your life.
The situations in which you can avoid bankruptcy are those in which the client is receiving income exempt from garnishment including Social Security income, state retirement income, or unemployment benefits. Most people will say they’re tired of the hassles and ask me to get this taken care of, but for those who can afford it, I show them how to handle everything. Some people just aren’t emotionally prepared for bankruptcy; they see it as a form of defeat, which is totally contrary to what I present because I personally see bankruptcy as a path to success.
If you talk to any business person of significant means, I’d guess that more than half of them have filed bankruptcy at least once in their life because they understand that we live in a nation governed by the rule of law; it’s not a sin, it’s not illegal, it’s the law, and they use the law. If you’ve committed a crime and you know it, you don’t have to confess; you have to be proven guilty – there is a presumption of guilt; is that anymore immoral or unethical than filing bankruptcy, discharging those debts and not paying your creditors? In my mind, the ethical bridge is easy to gap.
The most important thing we do is establish rapport with people, everyone is different, but I love my clients and I treat them like family. When we sit down and talk, I am concerned about where they are, their goals and their expectations; where do they want to be 10 or 20 years. Some people come in dealing with a master disaster and they don’t want to give up. I respect that tenacity and passion to not quit. However, after reviewing their situation, I ask them why they want to waste ten years trying to recover from something that won’t work based on their budget numbers.
For more information on Documents Required for Initial Consultation, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling Attorney Mike Shovan at (989) 465-8144 today.