So we've been discussing DH filing BK for a couple months now. He's been going back and forth on it and last week finally decided to go for it. I think it was seeing 40 collections on his credit report that convinced him. We had our initial consultation this morning. I went along since DH really doesn't know anything about our finances. His involvement with the finances stops with him handing me his check. I deal with the bill paying.
Anyway, I wasn't too impressed with the consultation. We spoke to the lawyer's legal assistants. They spent almost the whole time basically promoting their firm. Very few of our questions got answered. Plus some of the answers didn't sound right from what I've read. I thought the fee was a little steep as well. Then again I've never filed and don't know anyone that has so I'm not sure.
I have a few questions that they didn't answer very well so maybe someone here can help.
1) They said since DH is filing by himself and I have no income, nothing of mine (my car and bank account) would be counted. Does that sound right?
2) They said it sounded like he could do a Ch7 and could probably exempt all 3 of his vehicles, one under the vehicle exemption and the other 2 under the wildcard exemption (they're not worth much anyway). Does that sound right?
3) The fee they quoted was $1800, which only includes them filling out the paperwork and filing the Ch7. They gave us a bunch of forms to fill out and said that there would be a separate fee for them to review the forms. They want $200 to review just his self-employment form. Anything above filling out the paperwork and filing (ie-dealing with objections, etc) is an additional fee. We're responsible for notifying the creditors and CRAs that the BK has been filed. Does that sound right?
4) They want us to sign a consent for them to do a background check. Is that normal? We don't have anything to hide, but still, that seems a bit much.
I called around and found another lawyer. He talked to me a little bit over the phone. That kind of surprised me. I didn't expect to actually get a lawyer on the phone. His fee is much more reasonable and includes everything start to finish. He offered a free consultation. I talked to DH this evening and we're going to set up an appointment to see him.
Definitely see another lawyer! We had to pay $1400 plus court fees this past August (CH 7 filed and discharged 2007) but our attorney (probably his assistant or paralegal) took care of all filings, paperwork, notifications, etc. We had to gather together all the information and fill out a long, long form. They asked for us to provide them a copy of our credit report, tax forms, etc. or they would pull one. Evidentially under the new BK laws, the attorney has to certify to the court that the means test information, income, etc. is all correct, so attorney has to protect his bananas.LOL. Good luck, hang in there, things will get better, and keep reading this forum. It has SO much good information, I wish we had found it before we filed.
yeah, believe it or not, i found my lawyer on the internet...lol....i filled out my interest and i guess the site has lawyers to refer, and the lawyer called me on the day i said was convenient to set up and appointment to discuss my options...one of the hardest conversations of my life...i might have even choked up due to near tears...lmao, its funny now.
the vehicles issue sounds fishy. from what i could remember, the exception is like $3000 and all assets are liquidated except for necessity, in this case, one car to go to work, all others will probably be counted as luxury...which is probably why they ask you in your 341 meeting if you have sold anything to transferred ownership of anything within a few months prior to filing...a year is the case i think. wild card exemption..hmm, never heard of that.
you should not be responsible for notifying your creditors....i think, if i remember right, that if you list out all your creditors you want included, tehy will automatically be notified by the court that you filed and therefore, an "automatic stay" is imposed.....they are not allowed to collect from you until a discharge or dismissal.
depending on how complicated your case is, there might be additional fees, but if everything is done perfectly by your lawyer, then there shouldn't be any fees since there will be no further paperwork.
i have about the same price, but they make sure that counsel was with me during the 341 meeting of creditors to hold my hand, lol.
background check? i don't know about that one. i did have to sign consent for them to get my credit report so i can review the creditors i want to include in the bk.
don't be afraid to shop around. this has to be done right since you only get one shot in 8 years to do this.