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.
A bankruptcy attorney is a legal professional who focuses mainly on counseling and guiding his clients regarding their financial states. He basically plays an important part in giving advice to the person in a financial crisis. The advice and counsel revolves around what type of bankrupt state the person can claim as well as what properties are exempt in this state. The filing of the claim can also be quite confusing for many of those who are not familiar with the terms and the systems that are necessary in doing so in the courts. The lawyer can step in and extend help for those who have some difficulty understanding the system and organizing their thoughts about their financial status. Despite being very good help to those who are in financial crises, there is also a downside to hiring one.
Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of hiring a bankruptcy attorney are various. It should be mentioned, though, that the downside to hiring one is not as heavy as the upside of doing so. One of the good things about getting this type of legal representative is that they actually focus on the different aspects of the state of being bankrupt. They know all about the different other fields of laws that are related to this state and they can advise the client regarding which state is better to claim. In other words, they are experts of this in the financial law concept. In this regard, they know what can be expected if their client pursues an avenue of law that is connected to this. Yet another good thing about hiring these lawyers is that they can actually assess the individual’s status and counsel the person whether it is a good idea to declare oneself as bankrupt or to pursue another avenue related to this. The bankruptcy attorney can recommend some actions and alternatives which may prevent the individual from actually declaring this state of financial crisis. There are some ways to actually ask the people who hold the debt to extend the loan or give some kind of consideration to the person who owes money. Some credit card companies allow for arrangements to be set in order for the debtor to pay off the debt slowly but surely.
The downside to hiring a lawyer of this caliber is that they can be an additional cost to the already broke individual. Legal representation and counsel do not come cheap and some of these professionals can ask for top dollar for their services. There are some who allow payment for their services to be broken down but this just means that the person who is in a financial crisis has another additional debt to pay. The bankruptcy attorney might also be in a hurry to file the claim and not assess the case well enough to consider other options. Some of these professionals might take the case at face value and just go through the easiest course even though there are other alternatives.