What to ask a bankruptcy lawyer before you avail their services?
What worries most a person is his or her financial condition, and that's why you don't feel surprised when a study informs you that humans spend almost 3.5 hours every day per week thinking about it. And when you realize you are edging the verge of bankruptcy; the gravity of the matter becomes more intense. No doubt, it can be the most overwhelming situation for you, but you can still deal with it wisely by taking expert help. You can speak to a seasoned bankruptcy attorney over the phone for consultation before moving forward. Here are a few points that you can include in your list for phone communication.
Which type of bankruptcy to file - Chapter 7 or chapter 13?
These are the two popular types of bankruptcies you can file. As per chapter 7, you have to give all the property to your bankruptcy trustee that is not exempted by law. You can refer to the Bankruptcy Exemptions list of your state to understand what you can retain and what you have to let go when you file for bankruptcy to clear your debts. However, it deserves mention here that you generally don't get rid of the following responsibilities –
- Student loan
- Child support
- Unpaid back taxes
As far as chapter 13 goes, you can repay the creditors over three to five years without losing your property.
An experienced attorney will be able to thrash out what these bankruptcies mean and which option can be your best bet after analyzing your situation based on the information you provide over a call.
How much will this process cost?
Knowing the overall expense that you will have to bear in this process is critical so that you can take a call. You need to know if there would be any additional cost apart from the lawyer’s fees. Is there any retainer fee? How do the payments need to be made? Whatever be the cost and payment mode, you need to make sure there is a comprehensive agreement in place.
When can you file a case and how long it may take to close?
If the lawyer has significant experience, he will be able to give you a fair idea of the amount of time that may go into the filing process based on his schedule as well as the manner local courts proceed. Just remember your cooperation will also matter in this as you have to share the necessary details and also check the forms before their submission. Nevertheless, the attorney should guide you through the entire process step-wise and give you an estimate of how much time it will need for processing.
You can schedule a phone consultation with your chosen attorney for a discussion so that you get an idea of whether he or she can solve your problem or not and how open he or she is with clients. You can ask any concern that you may have regarding bankruptcy. If you have a feeling that there can be some challenges or you want to know about the risks, consult with them without hesitation.