Client intake is one of the first steps in the bankruptcy filing process. It’s important to know how to handle intake, as debtors may be overwhelmed and have lots of questions as they’re providing their sensitive information.
When you’re just starting out in this area of the law, here’s what you need to know about bankruptcy client intake.
What is client intake for BK attorneys?
The client intake process allows attorneys to gather all necessary information about a debtor. The intake questionnaire includes personal, financial, property, employment, and debt information so that the bankruptcy lawyer has everything about a client in one place.
So why is client intake necessary? Bankruptcy forms require this information from debtors, so gathering these details is the first step in creating the petition. They help you and the court understand the debtor’s situation so that the best steps forward can be taken.
How to improve the client intake process
Bankruptcy is a sensitive matter for clients. They’re probably very stressed and embarrassed about their financial situation. Assure them that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and that they’re doing the right thing to find debt relief and start over.
Because this process is emotional, it’s common for attorneys to have problems getting all this information form their client in a timely manner. There may be a lot of back and forth. What you can do to help is to make instructions as clear as possible and check in regularly. Be supportive, not demanding. Let your clients know you’re there to help.
Tips for a smoother client intake process:
1. Fillable PDFs or printable forms are a way of the past. Clients may have trouble filling these out and getting them back to you, and this can cause a delay in the bankruptcy process.
2. Provide a safer alternative than fax or email for sharing sensitive documents. Protect your firm and your clients with a more secure solution.
3. Use an online client portal for bankruptcy attorneys, like MyChapter from NextChapter. With a platform you get the following benefits:
- All client information is secure
- They can access the portal from their mobile device or on the web
- The process is easy for them to understand and straightforward to complete. Clients will work through the questionnaire to fill in their information.
- Customize the portal for each client based on which sections they need to fill out and even add in more detailed instructions.
- Clients will send their information to you when they’re finished and you can review and edit with intuitive editing tools
- Save time on data entry for your law firm since all client data can be imported into NextChapter
If you'd rather conduct client intake in person, NextChapter's bankruptcy software makes the process easy for both you and your debtors. This intuitive, streamlined application makes it simple. Client intake can be conducted on your iPad at a coffee shop while you move through the software and ask your clients questions.
NextChapter provides many other benefits to help you with bankruptcy case management. Get in touch with the team to learn more.