Once you have selected an Arlington Heights bankruptcy attorney, you will want to contact them and schedule a consultation with them. A reputable bankruptcy attorney will not charge you for this consultation. Once you’ve made your appointment, you need to begin collecting all your bills so you and your attorney can go over them. You will also need to show any income you have had over the last 6 months, along with your federal tax returns for the last 3 years. Also collect any other paperwork your attorney asks you to bring.
When arriving to your attorney’s office, make sure you have all your paperwork in order. They will have you fill out an in-take form, which usually asks for general information about your situation. The form will ask you the size of your family, how much money you earn, if you own a house, a car, a bank account, a retirement account, and any other assets you may have. It will also ask you to list your debts.
Once completed, your attorney will sit down with you and go over this form and talk to you about your bankruptcy options. Make sure you tell your attorney about all your assets and debts. If you are unsure about anything, it is better to err on the side of caution and tell them anyway and let them determine if it is relevant or not. Based on the information at hand, your attorney will make a recommendation as to what type of chapter to file your case under, and what debts that chapter allows to be eliminated. They will also inform you of any requirements you must do in order to file, such as completing 2 classes required by the court.
Make sure you listen to your attorney carefully and follow their advice. Depending on which chapter you file under, you may need to “re-affirm” a debt in order to keep whatever it is attached to. For example, if you have financed a car or house, and you decide to keep it, you will need to re-affirm the debt in writing in order to keep the house or car. Otherwise, the debt will be eliminated and you will have to give up the car or the house.
During the consultation, your attorney will also give you a cost of how much your bankruptcy filing will cost. This cost will include court costs and attorney’s fees. The court costs are how much it will cost to file your case and have it heard in front of the court, while the attorney’s fees is how much it will charge your for his time, along with preparing paperwork, sending notices, etc. The attorney will also explain in great detail what it takes to claim bankruptcy.
If you decide to go through with filing, you and your attorney may be able to work out a payment plan. Once you’ve made your initial payment, your attorney will begin working on your case. They will research any other debt you possibly missed, along with researching and verifying any assets. They will also prepare all the paperwork needed for court. During this time, if you find anything you might have missed during the consultation, you will need to bring it to your attorney’s attention right away.
While paying towards your Illinois bankruptcy case, you will also need to complete a class as a requirement before your case can be filed. Your attorney will give you the specifics on this class. There might be a small fee for the class, which is usually not included in the cost of filing your bankruptcy. This can usually be done online, but sometimes can be done over the phone or in person.