4 Tips For Working Effectively With Your Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are going through the process of bankruptcy, it is important that you have a solid working relationship with your bankruptcy lawyer. Your bankruptcy lawyer's job is to assist you through the process and provide you with the information that you need; you can make their job easier by working effectively and together with them.
#1 Share Everything With Your Lawyer
In order to work effectively with your bankruptcy lawyer, it is vital that you share and disclose everything with them. Your lawyer knows what information needs to be contained in your filing paperwork. It is your lawyer's job to determine what information to include and exclude from your paperwork, not yours. Don't withhold information because you think that it is not important; let your attorney decide that.
If you fail to disclose some of your assets, you could face harsh penalties. In order to avoid penalties for failing to disclose, it is best to share virtually everything about your financial life, personal assets and business assets with your bankruptcy attorney.
#2 Give Lots Of Details
It is also vital that you not just disclose information to your attorney, but you provide as much detail as possible. The more details you provide to your attorney, the better your bankruptcy case will go.
For example, if you own a 2000 Audi S4, let your attorney how many miles it has, what type of model it is, what type of of drive train it has, what you use it for and any body or mechanical problems that your Audi has.
Or, if your attorney asks for information about your retirement account, make sure you provide them with information about all of your investments, records of your contributions and your employer's contributions for the time period requested, how your account is supposed to pay out.
#3 Don't Ask Your Attorney To Hide Things
It is also important that you never ask your attorney to hide an asset for you, even if you'll lose that asset through the bankruptcy process. Attorney/client privilege does not mean that your attorney can lie in court for you.
Failing to disclose assets or intentionally hiding assets carries multiple consequences. To start with, it is actually a crime to hide assets. You can lose your case and potentially face fines and jail time. If your attorney hides this information, they could potentially lose their license and thus their ability to practice law.
#4 Let Your Attorney Know When Or If Anything Changes In Your Life
Bankruptcy is a long process. Even once it seems like it is about to be wrapped up, it is vital that you let your attorney know about any changes in your life.
For example, if you sell an asset, such as a vehicle, you need to let your attorney know about it, even if that is an asset the bankruptcy courts said you could keep. Or, for example, if your income increases or decreases, you need to share this information as well. These life changes could impact or result in small changes in your bankruptcy proceedings, which is why it is vital to share this information with your attorney.