When I meet with a new client I ask a lot of questions. It is part of the process that I need to know a lot of information that many people don't even share with their closest friends. I ask about debts. I ask about a client's income. I ask about everything that a client owns. These are the three big areas that I feel need to be explored in a bankruptcy consultation. Income is important because I need to know which bankruptcy chapter best applies to an individual. Debt is important because it is often the most important factor in determining whether it is worth a client's time, money, and effort to explore a bankruptcy. The things that a person owns is important because we have to look at the assets which could be forfeited by filing a bankruptcy. However, it extends beyond just the things that you own. Often bankruptcy can involve not only things which a person owns, but those things that other people may think that a person owns. For example, a bank account can be jointly titled to two people. What if one of those people files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? If the bank account had money in excess of any exempt property allowable under the Bankruptcy Code then the bank where that account is held would freeze that bank account to preserve it for the bankruptcy estate. The person who didn't file for bankruptcy in this hypothetical situation would be very upset when they could not get access to their money. A person may not give away property that is rightfully theirs for the purpose of preventing the property from falling into the bankruptcy estate. However, if property is rightfully that of another, a person contemplating bankruptcy should consider the potential collateral damage that can be caused if that other person's property is held beyond the time the bankruptcy petition is filed. For this exact scenario, and others, it is important to tell your bankruptcy attorney about all property that you own and all property or bank accounts which have your name on the title or property which you may be holding for another person.