Hiring the right bankruptcy attorney can help you eliminate all of your debts and begin a new financially secure lifestyle. Though finding an experienced bankruptcy attorney may be challenging, it is well worth the investment of your time.
Before you hire a Bankruptcy attorney, there are a few things you should ask to make sure the attorney will provide you with the best representation possible. Continue reading this article so that you can get a better understanding of what you should look for when you are hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.
1. Debt Relief Options
Hire a bankruptcy attorney that provides you with various debt relief options. For instance, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a reasonable repayment plan or debt settlement agreement with your creditor instead of filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Some creditors will cancel part of your debt in exchange for a lump sum settlement. Creditors often renegotiate debts because they know they may not recover any money from you if you file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Before you retain a bankruptcy attorney, ask if he/she has experience negotiating repayment plans or debt settlement agreements with creditors. Also, have the attorney lay out the pros and cons of filing for chapter 7 versus chapter 13 bankruptcy (assuming you first qualify to file).
2. Hire a Compassionate Bankruptcy Attorney
Do not hire a bankruptcy attorney that makes you feel bad about your current financial situation. The attorney you pick must be able to understand the stress you feel and be ready and willing to assist you to achieve the financial freedom you deserve.
Most people file for bankruptcy due to large medical bill payments, or as a result of divorce, prolonged unemployment, or bad financial investments. Filing for bankruptcy does not mean that you are a bad person and your attorney should not make you feel that way. Ask the attorney what he/she thinks about individuals filing for bankruptcy and why he/she practices bankruptcy law.
3. Specialize in Bankruptcy Law
Hire an attorney that primarily practices bankruptcy law. It is not in your best interest to hire an attorney that primarily practices as a personal injury lawyer to handle your bankruptcy case. Experienced attorneys will be able to analyze your case and avoid any potential downfalls that may arise. Such downfalls may consist of a case dismissal, having to attend more hearings, or losing certain assets while retaining unwanted debts.
4. Reasonable Attorney Fees
When you file for bankruptcy, you will be required to pay attorney fees. Such fees vary by cost and complexity. The average cost including attorney and filing fees is anywhere from $700 to about $3000 for the whole case. It is important to inquire of the bankruptcy lawyer if you have to pay everything upfront or if you can make payments. Never use bankruptcy law firm factories that refer your case out or charge ridiculously low prices so that they can file huge numbers of bankruptcy cases. Hiring a bankruptcy mill firm can result in all sorts of complications arising while filing for bankruptcy. Make sure you ask what the attorney fees cover and the type of service you will receive. Finally, choose an attorney based on the experience he/she has and not necessarily how much you will be charged. When a bankruptcy lawyer’s fees are far below what other attorneys are charging for the same service, this may indicate that what is being offered is not of the same skill level.