Working With Your Lawyer During the Bankruptcy Process

There are many misconceptions surrounding filing for bankruptcy protection. The Randle Law Office works hard to educate prospective and new clients on the advantages and disadvantages of filing based on their personal situations. No two bankruptcies are alike, including the experience you have when filing. Much depends on your income, your assets, the amount of debt you owe and other personalized factors. Although we take steps to educate you on the process, the idea of bankruptcy can still be a stressful concept. Our goal is to encourage clients to work with attorneys in gathering and disclosing information so the process will go smoothly. Here are some tips for working with your bankruptcy attorney.

Full Disclosure

There are thousands of bankruptcy cases filed in Tennessee every year. While bankruptcy attorneys exist to help you, the best way they can do that is if you are completely open and honest with them. Tell your attorney everything without holding back anything regarding your assets, recent transfers, property your name is on or possible inheritances. The documents you file are signed under oath which means you are making a legal declaration that the information you are signing is true, complete and accurate to the best of your ability. Lawyers prepare your petition based on the information you provide and based on some research through the resources they possess. Even though the attorney is preparing the documents, it will be considered your petition and you will be responsible for the information so it is important to fully disclose information and check the documents for possible errors or misinterpretations of the information you provided. There can be severe penalties for failing to disclose all of your assets or by providing incomplete documentation. Let your attorney know what assets you do have, whether you have transferred, sold or gifted real estate or personal items. Even if you do not think that something is important, tell your attorney anyway. At April Randle Law, we deal with bankruptcy day in and day out so we can best determine what is important and what is not. It is your job to give us all the information so we can effectively represent you.

It's All In The Details

When filing for bankruptcy, the paperwork required can seem overwhelming, but we are here to assist you at every stage of the process. The amount of information that is requested includes documents reflecting income, debts, receipts, bills, expenses, assets, mortgage deeds, and more. When divulging this information, it is vital to be as detailed as you can. Be specific about your assets even down to detailing their condition. Be willing and prepared to provide your attorney with any paperwork or information required. The majority of bankruptcy representation is in collecting information from clients, preparing the petition and analyzing the best bankruptcy chapter for your needs. If this up front work is done cooperatively, the bankruptcy hearings go very smoothly making the document gathering/reviewing worth every minute.

Keep Your Attorney Informed

Filing for bankruptcy can happen in a short period of time if you are organized and work with your attorney. If you have a change in your job, your assets, your expenses, or your address, these are all items you should tell your attorney. A change of circumstances can mean a bankruptcy strategy change. Attorneys can't help if you don't communicate with them. You should also not "second guess" the attorney. With the vast amount of information that is available online about bankruptcy, please remember that general information is not necessarily applicable to your circumstances. Tell your lawyer before you buy, sell, trade or give away property. There are too many examples of clients misinterpreting information they read or hear from others and their actions ultimately undermine their ability to file certain chapters in bankruptcy that could have been available had they consulted their attorney before taking action on their own.

April Randle listens to your goals and decides if Bankruptcy is a good choice

Most people that come in for an appointment are candidates for one form of bankruptcy or another; however, we are honest in that it won't benefit everyone. Based on the information you provide at the initial consultation and subsequent meetings, we may recommend not filing or waiting to file, or perhaps we recommend a Chapter 13 repayment plan instead of the Chapter 7 that your friends and family were certain you should file. The best course of action is to come to your appointment with an open mind. April Randle will listen to the goals you have and factor in your income, expenses, past and future financial circumstances and then provide the options that are available to you. If bankruptcy is not a good choice, our office will be honest about that fact and will provide you with other avenues if available. If you have transferred property or given away real estate, etc, Randle Law Office can help you plan around the events that have already happened, but they cannot assist you if you disclose them. We won't recommend a bankruptcy Chapter that would cause you to lose things you want to keep.

There is a common denominator to be found among these tips: communication. Open and unadulterated communication is the best policy throughout the bankruptcy process. Deciding to file bankruptcy can be stressful, but we at April Randle Law are here to alleviate that stress. The best way we can do that is if you honestly communicate with us. Stay calm and be patient. Let us help you through the process so that you can move on with your life and gain the fresh start you and your family deserve.