Your first bankruptcy consultation with Balena Law Firm will be different from any other consultation you may have had about your financial issues. The central theme of this meeting will be you. I want to know what happened in your life that brings you here.
It is not enough to be unable to pay your bills each month. I want to know why. The “why” will dictate your next steps. Many prospective clients come to me after having spoken with one or more bankruptcy attorneys.
Let’s cover the differences you will recognize quickly. When you set your bankruptcy consultation I will send you a welcome letter along with a list of things I’d like you to bring so we can really dig in. One thing you won’t see from me is a big, thick questionnaire. This compendium of questions is the trademark of bankruptcy lawyers. It is a chore to get ready to meet with them. I think it is an awful lot to ask of you before you even know what you want or need.
If you talk with more than one lawyer or law firm you may have many different packages to fill out. That’s a huge amount of work before you even know whom you want as your bankruptcy lawyer. The long form bankruptcy questionnaire is tedious to write and even more tedious to read.
I want to have a real conversation with you. I expect that you have questions. Bring a list. I want to answer them. Once you understand what is going on you can then make a decision what moves to make next. You might need to file bankruptcy. You might not. A chapter 13 might be right. You won’t know until you talk with an attorney who is prepared to listen to you and has not decided what you need before you even set foot in the office.
Once you embrace your next step, and are ready to commit to the process. I will have you sign a credit report release and we will enter into a written fee agreement. You will need to complete a questionnaire, but not in writing. I will send you an email invitation to complete an online interview. This invitation is generated by the license of my bankruptcy petition preparation software. Only I can access what you fill in.
When you finish the online interview your answers are downloaded into your petition. My office puts the finishing touches on it. I then go through the various analyses to verify that you qualify for the relief that you desire.
The online interview speeds up the process of getting your information into the system so the real legal work of your bankruptcy case can begin. The written questionnaire preferred by most lawyers (because it is cheapest) means handling and entering the same information repeatedly wasting valuable time.
If your situation requires the written questionnaire no problem. I will give it to you to take home after your bankruptcy consultation.