|NC Bankruptcy Lawyer
I start every case with a consultation, but I find it helpful if you get a chance to speak
to me before coming in. So when you call you will either speak to me directly, or you should leave a message and I can
call you back to talk briefly.
The consultation is probably the most important meeting we have. You
will get basic information and questions answered. You are going to make some big decisions based upon the meeting
like whether or not you are going to file bankruptcy, look further into it or some other legal direction. You are often
going to decide if you want to hire me to help you through the process based upon the meeting.
If you decide
to move forward, it is a big step to take so I want to give you a consultation that will cover the basics and make you comfortable
enough with me to take that next step.
The consultation lets me look at your situation, tell you what I see in
your facts, make any obvious recommendations, and give us a chance to meet each other. I can't figure out everything
in a consultation, and it isn't enough time to tell you everything you need to know right away, but I give you as much
information as I can and I tell you what I would want to know if I was in your shoes.
When I review
your case and have a chance to speak to you, I will be able to quote a fee to hire me to file your case. I have
a wide range of clients, with cases from easy to difficult. The fee depends on the case, client, and the time needed
to do the work. In simplest terms, I charge less for easy cases that take less time, and more for harder ones that
take more time. I do my best to keep fees down, balanced with giving you the time and attention to prepare
your case and educate you on the process.
Since many people do not have all the money saved up to proceed immediately,
I have found it helps my clients to start with a meaningful consultation. This helps us begin with a
solid foundation and cover basic questions you may have. I normally set up payments on
fees, assuming time allows and there is no urgency that requires your case to be filed quickly like a a looming change of
circumstances, a pending lawsuit, foreclosure sale date deadline, or threat of auto repossession.
If it looks like you are going to move forward with bankruptcy, we will
make a plan for what you need to do, who you need to pay (or stop paying), and other issues that will help you as you prepare
to file your case and pay your fees. If time allows, I may begin in your consultation. Otherwise it will be started at
your opening appointment. Many people are able to pay attorney fees once they stop paying debts that the bankruptcy
can write off. While fees are being paid, there is time to start to gather the information I will need to prepare your
documents. I will give you all the information you need to lead you through preparation, and will continue
to provide information explaining the process. By the time your case is filed, you should have learned enough to be
relatively comfortable with filing and understand how it works.
I have a formal procedure to hire me at an Opening Appointment. Hiring me and officially opening your file starts
with at that appointment, where clients are given time to review & signing a fee contract, and start payment towards my
fees. Once hired, you will be able to tell creditors to contact me as your attorney, which usually keeps most
general unsecured creditors off your back long enough for you to pay and file your case.
want to hire me, you may do so at the consultation or you can think about it and come back later. When you open
your file, I want you to be sure about it so I do not push you to open right away, and often encourage consults to take
time to think about the meeting before they decide. At the opening appointment, you will review a fee contract and have
the opportunity to ask questions about fees and policies prior to signing the fee contract and paying the general retainer.
If making payments, I will set up your payment plan for you and put the schedule in your fee contract.
a general retainer to open a file, which is a fee earned upon receipt. I quote a general retainer to
try to cover the initial meetings and also to close a file if you don't proceed with your case. Anything
you pay in addition to the general retainer is an advance retainer, which is held in trust until I earn it.
If you don't proceed with your case, any fees not earned will be refunded to you.
Details about the fees will
be explained more fully in your fee agreement and you can ask questions about fees before you sign the fee agreement.
After many years of representing people in financial trouble, bankruptcy can often help stabilize your budget
and free up money so you can get back on track and live on what you make.
It is normal to worry about the
cost of filing, since you are calling due to financial problems after all. But if you decide to file, you may stop paying
bills that will be resolved in your case when you make your decision and as you do that, it often frees up enough money
to pay an attorney to help you with your case.
I recommend that you come in sooner rather
than later because I see so many clients who have sent thousands of dollars to creditors in the months before the consultation
that could easily have paid for them to hire the attorney of their choice. Not to mention that the money barely makes
a dent in many clients' debts, if it makes a dent at all.
you don't have to figure out how you are going to pay for your whole case before you come in for a consultation.
Call me, we'll talk briefly, then you can come in and let me see what is going on and we'll look at
where to go from there.