Bankruptcy Stage, Detailed Attorney Interview
Once you decide you want to move forward, The second bankruptcy stage is a detailed interview with the attorney himself to flush out and gather all the facts and documents needed to prepare a complete bankruptcy petition. By now, you have had the initial meeting with the attorney and the different bankruptcy option explained and a recommended course of action advised by your attorney. More importantly, you have had time to think about it and had all your questions answered.
For the interview, It usually takes me between 45 minutes to 1 hour to get all the facts I need to prepare my client’s bankruptcy. All the client will do during this time is answer my questions and hand me as many of the documents bellow that the client was able to gather uo. I do not ask clients to complete forms. Prior to the meeting I would have advised the clients to bring or gather up as much of the following documents as possible.
- Tax returns for last 2 years filed.
- Pay stubs for last 60 days (both spouses, if married).
- All credit card statement and collection letters.
- All vehicle payment statements.
- All mortgage payment statements including, 2nd and 3rd mortgages, if any.
- All student loans.
- All back taxes due.
- Any and all lawsuits against you.
- Any documents that claim you owe someone money.
- Your credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com Make sure you print each of the reports from each credit reporting agency you were able to access on paper or PDF file .
It is not unusual to have some of the above documents unavailable or missing, do not worry, I usually pull credit reports of my clients directly as well. And there are other places where I can gather other information that might not be readily available to the client. but the more you can provide, the better and more complete of a petition preparation I can do.
Once the interview is complete, It will take me about 2 weeks to have the petition ready for signature. However, in urgent circumstances, we can file within 24 hours. In the mean time, I provide the client instructions on completing the credit counseling course that must be completed prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. So while you complete the 1st of the required courses (don’t worry, it takes about 45 minutes to do it online) I go ahead and get everything ready. We will meet again in about 2 weeks time at which point I will go over the petition with you myself, and if all is well, the client will sign the petition for filing.
Next I will cover what happens after the petition is filed.
Roland Kedikian is a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney, providing bankruptcy solutions to debtors since 1997.