One of the hardest steps in the bankruptcy process is picking up the phone and contacting an attorney for the first time. You will most likely feel embarrassed, defeated, and probably a little scared.
At Steidl & Steinberg, we have dealt with tens of thousands of people who have felt the same way. When feeling those emotions, it is natural to be a little apprehensive about disclosing your entire financial life to someone you really don’t know. It’s very understandable.
Honesty Means Everything
This leads to the number one rule when dealing with your attorney. Be honest and tell them everything!
When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to disclose all assets, liabilities, income, expenses, transfers, and other related financial details. If you don’t, you can find yourself in a very difficult situation.
The good news is that you have an attorney who can advise you on how these disclosures will affect you throughout the bankruptcy process. A great majority of the time clients worry about what they could lose when they file for bankruptcy. For the most part, those concerns are completely unfounded. However, your attorney cannot ease those fears if they don’t know the entire picture.
We're Your Biggest Advocate
When dealing with your lawyer, remember that your attorney is your advocate, not your enemy. Your attorney’s job is to look out for your best interest at all times. It is also important to remember that your attorney, like you, is required to follow the law. Although your attorney is your advocate, sometimes that requires the attorney to tell their clients things they don’t want to hear. That’s part of the job.
Honesty and full disclosure with your attorney are paramount so they can protect you from potentially making any huge mistakes. Even if you don’t think you will like the answer when you tell your attorney what is going on with your finances, most of the time, you will actually like the answer. Or at least you can get advice on how to work through any potential issues.
When dealing with your advocate, make sure you follow the most important rule. Be honest and tell your attorney everything. Your lawyer is on your side.