Over the years we have tried different ways of getting enough information to advise potential clients without making the initial contact overly burdensome on them. We believe we’ve now found the most efficient approach.
We advise clients about their options in an initial meeting in our office. For most consumer clients, this is a free consultation and requires only a little preparation in advance. We ask you to jot down a list of all your debts, showing the name of each creditor and the amount owed. You will also need to be prepared to list the most important things you own and to tell us the gross income of every member of your household.
When you get to our office, you will use this information to complete a short questionnaire about your debts, assets, and income. We will then confer with you, usually for 30 minutes to an hour, and give you at least tentative advice about your alternatives. If you are interested in getting more definitive advice, we will ask you to fill out our full questionnaire and provide some additional information for a later meeting.
If you are self-employed or own an interest in any business, the free consultation does not give us enough information to give you specific advice. For these clients, we offer an extended consultation that requires more advance preparation. You will need to fill out a detailed questionnaire before coming in and provide us with financial information about the business. We then meet with you – typically for 1½ – 2 hours, but sometimes longer. Our goal is that after your first visit, you will have a complete understanding of the benefits, disadvantages, and risks of your bankruptcy alternatives. We typically charge $300 for the extended consultation, but we will deduct this payment from the fee for any bankruptcy case you decide to file.
Whichever approach fits your situation, we look forward to the chance to meet you and let you know the important benefits the bankruptcy laws offer. If you’re in the Columbia area and need help with your financial problems, give us a call.