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The Bankruptcy Law Clinic Blog

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are there some things I shouldn't tell a bankruptcy attorney

Short version:  NO!  Tell your bankruptcy attorney everything!  When you hire a bankruptcy attorney, you are hiring a legal professional to protect you and your financial interests.  Your attorney is unable to do his or her job if you aren’t completely honest about your financial situation, and you should look at your attorney-client relationship in much the same way as you view your doctor-patient relationship.  Your privacy is protected with client privilege and what you DON’T tell could end up hurting you.    

This is because whatever facts you are attempting to conceal about your finances are likely already known by the bankruptcy trustee or the attorney that has been hired by your creditors.  If the “other side” knows more about your true financial situation than your own attorney does, you are setting up a scenario in which your attorney is going into the fight blind.  In this situation, he or she cannot fight for you without the proper knowledge to do so. 

Your bankruptcy attorney has a fine line to walk.  He or she must keep the bankruptcy trustee happy and present your bankruptcy case to the court without appearing to hide something.  If there is information that the trustee knows but your bankruptcy attorney doesn’t, this will look suspicious to the court and keep your attorney from doing the job he or she is trying to do—the job of helping you and your finances. 

So should you always be completely honest with your bankruptcy attorney about your financial situation?  The answer is a resounding yes!  You are paying an attorney to help you get your finances back on track, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to let your attorney know everything that is related to your financial state of affairs.  Then, and only then, will the attorney be able to help you in the best way possible.  In our experience, people get a lot of bad advice about bankruptcy- from their friends, the internet, their “primos en Kendall” and lots of other places.  The best advice regarding bankruptcy you can get is from a bankruptcy attorney.  Most good ones offer a free initial consultation (like us), so give them a call (our number is 305-663-3281) and tell them EVERYTHING.


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