Chapter 7 or 13?The prospect of filing for bankruptcy can be very intimidating, scary, and stressful – especially if you are going to do it on your own. Because the bankruptcy process can be very confusing, it is highly recommended that most Georgians work with an experienced and understanding bankruptcy attorney instead of trying to make their case a do-it-yourself project. Bankruptcy is a great way to get a fresh start, and it is wise to seek help from a bankruptcy attorney.

If you have made the decision to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, read on to learn about the three things you should do in preparation for your meeting.

1. Gather all of your financial paperwork and familiarize yourself with your family’s debts and assets. This may seem like a no brainer but it is very important because at your consultation, your attorney is going to need as much information as possible about your household bills and assets. Going over this information will be easier (and the meeting will be less stressful) if you don’t have to dig through piles of medical bills, credit card statements, or pay-stubs.

Additionally, the attorney may ask you about things that you have not thought about in a while such as an inheritance that you may be about to receive, your old 401(k) that you rolled over from a previous employer, or that second property that you own with your brother. While you are not expected to be able to account for or document every single penny of your debts and assets at this first meeting, being as prepared as possible will be very helpful to both you and your attorney.

2. Talk to your family – especially your spouse. This tip is very, very important and for several reasons. First, it is better if everyone in the family is on the same page and informed about the state of the family’s finances. Of course, your 8-month old baby isn’t going to benefit much from the conversation. But you may be surprised about how much your 7-year old or 9-year old may understand. It is important to be able to openly and honestly explain to your children that maybe next year the family will go to the lake for vacation instead of Disney Land, or that the family may move to a smaller house in a different neighborhood in the upcoming months. Children are very sensitive to change and discussing these issues with them will help prepare them for any serious measures that may have to be taken in order to address the family’s debt issues.

And of course it is very, very important to go over financial issues with your spouse. Statistics show that financial problems are the number one cited reason for divorces so even though it may be a hard conversation to have, it is definitely better to have this conversation now to help the family get back on track.

3. Take a deep breath. Yes, bankruptcy can be nerve-wracking and many people find that going through the bankruptcy process makes them very tense and stressed out. But that is what your attorney is for – to help you get past this financial hurdle and do what is best for you and your family moving forward. So take a deep breath, gather your documents, and go to that meeting.

Do you think that bankruptcy may be right the option for you and your family? Don’t delay any longer and contact our office at 404-913-1529 to speak to an experience bankruptcy attorney about your case and to schedule your first meeting. We look forward to speaking with you!