What Will Your First Meeting With A Bankruptcy Attorney Entail?

If you are having serious trouble paying off your debts, you might be thinking about filing for bankruptcy. The first step in this process will be to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer in order to discuss your situation and figure out the best way forward. Here's what you can expect during that first appointment.

Reviewing Your Finances

Before your lawyer gives you any advice, they will want to take a look at your finances. You should bring copies of all of your bank statements, pay stubs, and bills to this appointment so your lawyer can get as clear of a picture of the situation as possible. Do not hide information from the lawyer. Even if you find your situation embarrassing, your lawyer needs to know everything to give you proper guidance. Remember — this their job. They are not going to judge you.

Assessment of Bankruptcy Suitability

Based on the amount of debt you have, your income, the interest rates on the debt, the type of debt, and a variety of factors, the attorney will let you know if they think bankruptcy is a good way forward. Don't be surprised if their answer is that you need to seek financial counseling rather than jumping into bankruptcy. In some cases, your debt may not be able to be discharged due to bankruptcy. This is often true with student loans and tax debts. If your lawyer does not feel bankruptcy is right for you, they can refer you to financial counselors who will help you put together a budget and pay-off plan to eventually escape your debts without declaring bankruptcy.

Discussion of the Best Chapter

Did you know there are a couple of different types of bankruptcy you can declare in the United States? Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common. Your lawyer will tell you which chapter they think you should file, and they'll explain why that chapter is the best choice.


If you and your attorney agree that declaring bankruptcy is the best option for you, then this first meeting will generally end with you being given some paperwork to fill out. You'll spend a couple of days filling it out before returning it to your attorney and moving forward with your case.

Declaring bankruptcy can be difficult, but it is often the best option when you're burdened with a lot of debt. To learn more, speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area.