No one wants to file bankruptcy, but sometimes it’s only reasonable way to get past your mistakes and start over. Once you’ve made the decision to file bankruptcy, your first step is to find a reputable lawyer who understands your state’s bankruptcy laws thoroughly (since they vary greatly from state to state), as well as federal laws regarding the entire bankruptcy procedure.
Not taking the time to find the right bankruptcy attorney can cost you even more in time and money in the long run, so consider more than price when choosing who will represent you. Be sure the attorney you choose can:
- Explain the entire bankruptcy procedure in detail.
- Willing to walk you through each step.
- Clearly outlines what fees he charges, and what services are included for those fees.
- Can handle every aspect of your bankruptcy.
- Clearly understands all federal, state and local bankruptcy laws.
- Has provided a list of references for you to contact.
Once you’ve chosen a few lawyers to interview, comprise a thorough list of questions for them to answer. Don’t be shy. As them to explain anything that you don’t understand, and always double check their answers later to determine if they do indeed understand the bankruptcy laws you’ll be dealing with.
After making your final decision to hire one of the lawyers on your list, first ask them to make an evaluation to see if you really do need to file bankruptcy. Even if you have labored over your decision and feel that it’s the right one to make, let your new lawyer have a look at your financial situation to determine if bankruptcy is indeed necessary. He or she may know have knowledge of little known laws that could help you stave off this final step.
Next, be sure your lawyer clearly outlines their fee schedule. Be sure you have a completed list of the services they will perform for the fees being charged and always ask about any “extras” that may be tacked on. For instance, many lawyers charge a set rate for a specific amount of time, but once a client’s project goes over the allotted time, hefty additional fees may be charged.
Ask if there’s anything you can do personally to help lower his service costs. It may be possible for you to gather all of the information needed, and simply let your attorney fill out any paperwork, and file the necessary documents, saving him manpower and you money.