Russell A. DeMott is a Charleston, South Carolina bankruptcy lawyer who represents consumer debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. He is the author of the Charleston Bankruptcy Blog. He is also a member of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Blog. He files bankruptcy cases for clients in the Charleston, South Carolina division, which runs from Myrtle Beach to Beaufort. The DeMott Law Firm also represents clients in foreclosure defense and mortgage modification. You can also connect with Russ on Google Plus Russell DeMott. Russ can be contacted directly at (843) 695-0830 or by email at russ@demottlawfirm.com.

 

Author: Russell DeMott, Charleston Bankruptcy Lawyer

03 Oct Calling Your Bankruptcy Lawyer

The first step to getting bankruptcy advice is usually calling a bankruptcy lawyer. Most lawyers direct their staff to obtain basic information about the prospective client's financial situation. Things like:
  • How much is your annual household income?
  • Are you married?
  • How much credit card debt do you have?
  • Do you have car payments and, if so, in what amounts?
  • Are you current on your mortgage and car payments?
  • Have you ever filed bankruptcy before? (Some have and some are actually represented by other lawyers!)
And there are others. The idea is that the lawyer needs basic information to see (1) whether it even makes sense for the client to meet the lawyer for a consultation (maybe the particular problem can't be solved by bankruptcy), (2) whether the lawyer handles the type of bankruptcy the client does need (for example, some attorneys don't do Chapter 13 cases and maybe that's what is needed), and (3) a general overview about the case.
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04 Sep Filing Bankruptcy? Then Know Thyself!

Your bankruptcy attorney doesn't expect you to know bankruptcy law, but he does expect you to have basic information about your finances. I require that clients fill out an initial consult form prior to meeting with me. The form is a simple, two-paged form with contact information on the first page and information about assets and debt on the second page. The form allows me to, almost instantly, get an overview of a client's financial situation. I can see if they own a home, how much it's worth, what they owe on the mortgage, if there is one mortgage or more than one, the amount of their monthly mortgage payment, and whether they are current on the mortgage payments. The form also calls for this information about vehicles. Regarding income, I can immediately see the income of the clients, which is important in my evaluation of what Chapter--typically 7 or 13--to recommend. But then there's the blanks...
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