Going through a bankruptcy can be a stressful and time-consuming situation. We at The Weller Legal Group are here to help make the bankruptcy process easier and more efficient for you and your family. In this article we are going to discuss 10 very important questions that you should ask your bankruptcy attorney before you decide to hire them to represent you.
What Is Your Experience?
There are many bankruptcy attorneys out there that are licensed today, but not all are created equal. It is important that you ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney how many years of experience they have and how many cases they have represented. You may even want to ask how successful they have been with their past bankruptcy cases. We at The Weller Legal Group have over 25 years of experience helping our clients with their bankruptcy cases. With so many years of experience in the bankruptcy industry you should feel confident that we are competent and are willing to support you every step of the way.
How Much Are Your Fees?
It is important that you ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney this question. Find out what your fees will be and what are included with those fees. Also make sure to ask if there are any other fees that could come up during the bankruptcy. If you are not able to come up with the fees right away ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney if you can set up a payment plan with them. There should be a fee agreement given to you that breaks down all the different items that you will be charged for.
Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13?
It is important to ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney which type of bankruptcy will be best suited for you and your situation. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will usually allow you to keep most of your property but you will have to agree to a payment plan to pay off your debts. This type of bankruptcy is probably better if you are someone who has a high income. The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will usually wipe out most of your debts at the end of the bankruptcy process but you may have to sell off some of your assets before you are released from your debts.
What Debts Cannot Be Released?
While most bankruptcies can help get rid of a lot of people’s debt, unfortunately there are some debts that cannot be wiped out. The first one is student loans, this is unfortunate but it is the truth. The second debt that cannot be released is back taxes. Benjamin Franklin even said himself that there were only two things certain in life and that was death and taxes. Even in a case of a bankruptcy you will not be able to be released completely from back taxes.
How Will Bankruptcy Benefit Me?
This is an important question that you should ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney. Not everyone may benefit from going through with a bankruptcy. With that being said, for many people going through a bankruptcy can be the beginning of giving them a fresh start in life. Make sure to assess the pros and cons of your situation before you go through with your bankruptcy case.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney approximately how long your case will take. There is no cut and dry answer to this question because each case is unique with its own variables. Chapter 7 Bankruptcies may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, sometimes longer if you have a more complex case. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy usually takes much longer ranging anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Like we mentioned earlier these lengths can vary depending on the variables of your specific case.
How Will We Communicate?
Make sure that you understand how you and your attorney will communicate with each other throughout the bankruptcy process. Some attorneys may prefer face to face meetings, while others may prefer email or phone calls. Find out who else you can contact if your attorney isn’t available right away. Also make sure to discuss what days and hours that you are able to contact your attorney. Some attorneys are only available for certain hours while others may be able to make special arrangement for clients.
What Risks Can I Face?
It is important that you discuss with your bankruptcy attorney some of the risks that you could possibly face in the future. For example, if you are planning to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy there may be a good chance that you have to sell off some assets to help repay back some of your debts. These assets may even include your house, make sure to discuss this with your attorney so you don’t get any unwanted surprises.
What Role Will You Play?
Ask your prospective attorney what roles they will play during your bankruptcy case. Many attorneys will have other attorneys from their firm go into court for them. If a different attorney will be going into court with you, that attorney should know your case very well and be available to meet with you before your case.
Are You A Lawyer?
This may seem like a funny question to ask but it is actually more important than you might think. Some law offices hire salespeople to do a lot of the talking and selling to potential clients. It is important that you as your prospective attorney this question to make sure that they are actually a real licensed lawyer.
We at The Weller Legal Group hope that the information provided to you in this article helped you understand some questions that you should ask your prospective bankruptcy attorney. It is important that you ask these questions before you hire the attorney to start working on your case. This will allow you both to understand each other more and should make you more confident with your bankruptcy case. We at The Weller Legal Group have over 25 years of experience in helping our clients with bankruptcies and improving their credit scores. We have offices located throughout Florida, including, Clearwater, Port Richey, and Lakeland. If you have any other questions in regards to filing bankruptcies or working on improving your credit score feel free to give us a call today at 1-800-407-3328.
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