Once you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy and hand picked the bankruptcy attorney that makes you feel most comfortable, it’s important to understand the expectations. Specifically, you need to know what will be expected of you throughout the bankruptcy process. You can’t just shake your new bankruptcy attorney’s hand and tell him you’re ready and then wait for your discharge to arrive in the mail. Your bankruptcy attorney is there to guide you through your bankruptcy, not be your stand in. A good bankruptcy lawyer will have a few expectations for you after filing for bankruptcy.
#1 Expectation your Bankruptcy Attorney will Have for You: Transparency
It seems so simple, but so many people fail to understand this expectation and it leads to trouble. You cannot lie to your attorney. Your bankruptcy lawyer expects honesty from you. Don’t hide anything from your bankruptcy attorney. Remember that you are on the same team and this particular team needs to move together as one with no secrets between them. If you aren’t comfortable discussing your finances honestly with your bankruptcy attorney, you haven’t found the right one. You should let them know that and go find another bankruptcy lawyer that you can be honest with about your financial situation – without holding anything back. It’s complete and total honesty. That’s your first and most important expectation as the bankruptcy filer.
#2 Be Exact in Your Preparations
Everyone wants their bankruptcy filing to go through as smoothly as possible – without a hitch. But that’s not possible unless your bankruptcy attorney is provided with information that is as accurate as possible. Don’t estimate or round your numbers. Exactness is important and it is the second thing that your bankruptcy attorney will expect from you. Give your attorney what he needs so that he can help you get what you need.
#3 Own It – This is Your Bankruptcy
No matter who you are, why you’re filing, who your bankruptcy attorney is…this is your bankruptcy. You will be receiving the discharge of debt. The benefits of this bankruptcy process will be yours and yours alone – not your bankruptcy attorney or your bankruptcy trustee or your bankruptcy judge. Take ownership and act responsibly. Do what is asked of you on the timeline you are given. If you are given a deadline of 7 days to obtain a copy of a specific year’s tax return, get the needed copy on the required date. Don’t depend upon reminders from your bankruptcy attorney or expect someone to chase you down to get it on the day it’s due. Remember that it’s your bankruptcy case and your financial future that is on the line. Facilitate the process whenever possible. You’re only helping yourself.
I want every filer I work with to understand the expectations that are out there not because I’m harsh, but because I know what bankruptcy can do for someone who desperately needs that chance to start fresh and I want all my clients to be able to fully take advantage of what is being offered. After you decide to file you might find you have some sleepless nights, but it also means the end of worry over potential lawsuits, the final goodbye to ever increasing credit card balances, and the beginning of something new – becoming debt free and knowing how good it is to be there.
If you’re ready to be debt free, contact the experienced southern California bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law to discuss obtaining a discharge of your debt.