How Much Money Does A Lawyer Make A Year latest 2023

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Dealing With Your Bankruptcy Lawyer – 3 Big Mistakes People Make That Can Hurt Their Bankruptcy Case

Mistake #1: Not telling your bankruptcy attorney about a credit card you want to keep.

Here it is, whether your lawyer asks you in person at his office, or whether on a form he has given you to fill out: List all your creditors, their addresses, account numbers and the amount of the debts. You have a credit card that isn’t “maxed out” and you’ve made minimum payments on it just to keep it from going into default. You would like to keep it because you want some credit, just in case of emergency.

What you don’t realize is that most creditors, especially the big banks that issue Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express, check your credit report every few months or even every month. Sooner or later, it will be obvious that you have filed for bankruptcy, as it will show up on your credit report.

What do you think your credit card issuer will do then? Will they let you keep your card? Will they give you more credit? No chance! Not in this lifetime! What you did made things incredibly more difficult for yourself and for your attorney.

What to do instead: Disclose, disclose, disclose. When your lawyer asks you to list all your debts, list them. There are reasons for every question. Many are requested because they are needed. But many more are required so that your lawyer can protect you.

Mistake #2: Not mentioning that you refunded money to a relative.

Any decent bankruptcy attorney will ask if you have paid any money you owe to a family member in the last year or two. Each state is a little different. But the idea is that you don’t want to create what is called a “preference”.

In a typical state, if you’ve reimbursed a parent or sibling in the year before you filed your case, you’ve done just that – created a preference. Let’s say you had credit card debt, unpaid medical bills, and a loan from a family member. This family member is in the same category of creditors as credit cards or medical bills, but you paid that one at the expense of the others, creating preference.

If the amount was over $600, guess what happens. The trustee keeps the money and uses it to also pay off any unsecured creditors who have filed a claim in your case. Of course, the trustee receives a commission for this.

What to do instead. Tell your lawyer. If you let them know before your case is filed, they may be able to help you or the family member you paid keep that money. The goal is to keep it out of the trustee’s hands. The timing of your submission can be critical. It’s a perfect example. Perhaps by waiting for the end of the year, this preferential payment becomes a non-issue.

Mistake #3: Letting too much time pass between the first meeting with your lawyer and the filing of your case.

So much can be written about this error that it is impossible to cover here. But, as an example, your lawyer will ask you for your gross income for the last 6 months. You will give her this information, but you will not see her again for 6 weeks. Well, that means you’ll have to provide more information to catch up because time has passed and those 6 months are different now than they were before.

What to do instead: It’s really no one’s fault because the bankruptcy code looks at your life in “snapshots”. Yet life is lived on a continuum. It is changing day by day and things change over time. The best thing to do is to wait and give your lawyer all the information he needs at the same time. But that’s the ideal. We all have to do our best.

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