10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney

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Filing for bankruptcy can be a result, you, complicated process. First, you get sent a ton of paperwork that looks like it is in a different language, asking for dates you have long since forgotten. Once you fill out the paperwork and get it sent in, then the worry begins. Did I fill out the paperwork right? Did I leave anything out? Will I be denied and have to start the process all over again? This process can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and that is why many people reach out to an attorney for help.

1How Can a Bankruptcy Attorney Help?

Typically you will get a free consultation either by phone or in person. Either an attorney or one of their staff will talk with you about your finances and take down your information. Typically you will know by the end of the call if they are willing to take your case or not.

While not having an attorney does not mean you will be unable to file bankruptcy, it will help speed up the process. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy chapter 7 and chapter 13.

2Do You Specialize in Bankruptcy Law?

With all of the laws to file for bankruptcy, you need an attorney who knows all of them. Attorneys specializing in bankruptcy will be able to walk you through the process and advise you on your best course of action.

3What Fees Will I Have to Pay?

There are multiple costs associated with filing bankruptcy. First, there is a filing fee, and this fee depends on if you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In addition to the filing fees, you will be charged court fees plus what your attorney charges. When you meet with your attorney, they will go over the complete list of fees plus their cost.

4What Are the Pros and Cons of Filing for Bankruptcy?

The pros are if you are drowning in debt, this will help you get out of it. If you file Chapter 13, you will create payment plans to pay off the debts and keep your stuff. If you are filing Chapter 7, your debt is wiped clean, but you cannot keep your items.

The cons are that it will have a negative effect on your credit score for many years. You will lose your credit cards and have a difficult time getting a loan. Your credit score can even affect your insurance rates or if you can rent a home or apartment.

5What Information do I Need When Filing for Bankruptcy?

With over 140 forms available, knowing which ones are needed is difficult. This is one of the main reasons why you need an attorney. They will know which documents you should use and fill them out with you, and advise you as needed.

6What Can I Expect Throughout the Process?

Waiting can make you feel like you are in limbo, unsure of what to do or what the process is. Asking your attorney what you can expect will help give you an idea of how the attorney will handle your case and the amount of time it will take.

7How Often Will We Talk?

You expect your attorney to talk to you to give you updates about your case and know what is going on and the next step. At this time, you can also let the attorney what your preferred method of communication is.

8Will You or Another Attorney be Assigned to Me?

It is essential to know who you will be working with and who will represent you. If it is another attorney, ask for his name, experience, and specialty. If he is available, you can request to speak with him or make an appointment to meet on another day.

9How Long Does the Process Take?

This is one of the most critical questions. Sometimes the legal process can take so long that it seems endless. While they may not know the exact amount of time, they have experience with similar cases and should give you an estimate.

10Do I Have Any Other Options?

Yes, you do have other options. You can call your debtors and talk to them to see if they will work with you. There are debt management plans where a management company calls your debtors and arranges payments with them. And of course, you can always sell things and find another way to earn extra income.

Conclusion

Getting in over your head in bills is a scary and stressful place to be. It affects not only your finances but also your day-to-day life. While it may seem an impossible feat, you can get out of the hole and get free of your debt.

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