What Should I Expect at My Initial Attorney Meeting on My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The most important thing to remember when meeting with your attorney for the first time is that you are only hurting your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case if you are not open and honest with your attorney. Your attorney needs to have a clear and precise understanding of your financial situation in order to advise you properly. Your attorney is on your side in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process, so make sure you accurately inform him or her about any debts you have and any assets that may be an issue in your case.

At your initial meeting, you will discuss what your financial situation is and what filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can and cannot do for you. Your attorney will discuss with you a strategy for moving forward on your case and will usually give you worksheets to fill out requesting information and a list of documents that you need to collect and give to your attorney at a future date. Some topics that your attorney might ask you about at your initial meeting include (1) an estimate of your monthly income; (2) a  discussion of your household size; (3) identifying any nondischargable debts like alimony, child support, and tax debts; and, (4) categorizing and identifying the debts that you do hope to discharge (usually consumer debt and/or medical debt). Finally, the attorney will ask you to sign an engagement letter or agreement which is a form where you make clear that you are hiring him or her to represent you in your chapter 7 bankruptcy.