If you're thinking about declaring bankruptcy, hiring a qualified bankruptcy attorney is your best option for a successful result. Even though you can declare bankruptcy without engaging an attorney, doing so isn't recommended. This is because filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires meticulous preparation and comprehension of legal issues.
Misunderstanding the laws or making errors in the bankruptcy process can jeopardize your rights. The law prohibits court personnel as well as bankruptcy judicial officers from providing legal advice. This article discusses how to choose a good bankruptcy lawyer who is right for you and who will help you navigate the bankruptcy process.
The Attorney’s Extensive Knowledge
When it comes to your financial prospects, you need to consult with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney that has handled issues similar to yours successfully. It's a good idea to inquire about your potential lawyer's experience, including the number of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases they've recently filed. Bankruptcy is a complicated process that involves numerous forms and processes. A single blunder could compromise your bankruptcy case and in turn have a negative impact on your financial situation.
Even though there are many law firms specializing in bankruptcy law, the majority of them are new or would recruit young and skilled attorneys to handle the majority of the process. For bankruptcy proceedings, you need an attorney that is prepared to do so much more to ensure that you obtain the best outcome. Since it'll be your money and assets at stake, you should seek an expert who has been practicing for some time.
Focused on the Details
Aside from expertise, the lawyer you select ought to have a keen eye for detail. The details matter, and hiring an attorney with a reputation for meticulousness is an excellent way to make sure you're getting the best representation possible. Check to determine if a Bankruptcy Lawyer is organized throughout your initial meeting with him or her. Is the staff courteous to you? Have you been kept waiting for long periods before the meeting? Is the lawyer's office normally clutter-free? Does the lawyer appear to have a high level of proficiency with her or his computer? These specific details can have a significant impact on your overall satisfaction with your counsel.
They are Passionate About the Bankruptcy Process
Having an experienced attorney isn't enough. The lawyer you're engaging with needs to be enthusiastic about assisting clients in resolving their financial difficulties. If you're being defended by a bankruptcy lawyer who is ardent in the field, you're more likely to get a better result. Without meeting the attorney in person or speaking with them directly, it could be impossible to tell how passionate they are.
Make sure the law firm's website is up to date and professional. Check to see if the lawyer has a reception or if they only have a help desk. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will schedule a face-to-face or phone meeting with you. Take note of the time spent with the lawyer, how he or she communicates with you, as well as whether you're getting the respect you deserve.
He or She Practices both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapters 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common bankruptcy chapters. Both chapters have their own set of pros and disadvantages over the other. The first major choice you and your lawyer will probably make jointly is which chapter to pursue. As a result, you could only address your possible case with a lawyer who is well-versed in each chapter so that they could appropriately advise you on which option is more favorable for you.
Several people who file for bankruptcy or are thinking about it are in financial distress and thus couldn't afford to miss work for several days. Before you hire an attorney, be sure you can meet or speak with her or him at a time convenient to your schedule. While several law firms have regular business hours, some also provide weekends and evening appointments.
Lawyers that help individuals with their financial issues frequently offer consultation at no cost. However, don't expect the lawyer to provide free legal guidance and advice during a free appointment. Instead, take this time to determine whether the lawyer satisfies what you are looking for in your bankruptcy lawyer.
Concentrate on Bankruptcy Lawyers with Experience in Your Local Area
Apart from bankruptcy legislation, the lawyer should be acquainted with the local legislation of the bankruptcy court where your bankruptcy case would be filed. Bankruptcy proceedings differ from one location to the next. It's for this reason that you ought to look for a lawyer that has worked in the area where you're filing. For instance, our dedicated attorney at the Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyer can be your best option if you are filing for bankruptcy in the Sacramento area. Mr. Bains can help you by utilizing his expertise in local bankruptcy court procedures and staff to your advantage.
They Talk About Other Options
Chapter 7, which involves the total cancellation of all outstanding dischargeable debts, might not be the ideal or only option for you. A professional bankruptcy lawyer would give additional solutions if they exist. A competent bankruptcy attorney should always examine the choices in each situation. For instance, they could advise a client to simply pay his or her expenses. This situation arises when the client earns too much income or has several assets.
The other option is to do nothing at all. This could happen to people who are considered “judgment proof”, implying they possess nothing that a creditor can seize if a judgment is made against them. Another option is a formalized debt management program from a credit counselor, especially if the majority of your creditors are credit card firms. The interest rates cut that the agency could be capable of obtaining can result in reduced payments.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a payment plan supervised by the courts, could alternatively be an option. An attorney could advise you to reconsider this alternative if you earn adequate income to cover at least a portion of your obligations or own assets that would be taken from you in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Understanding the complete range of options and then selecting one reduces the likelihood of you regretting your decision to declare bankruptcy.
A well-known attorney has been in practice for an extensive period. They have a reputation in the field of law in which they specialize. You could read reviews on independent sites and call the bankruptcy lawyer's references for more information.
Excellent Communication Skills
This is likely your debut in declaring bankruptcy. You'll need someone who can explain everything to you in simple terms. The bankruptcy attorney should also keep the client informed about the case's progress. They should guarantee that there'll be no misunderstandings or confusion regarding the matter.
They Listen to and Understand Their Clients
Declaring bankruptcy is a hard call for most individuals. Due to the sheer emotional nature of the issue, you'll expect your lawyer to not only have the necessary credentials but also to demonstrate an eagerness to understand your position and aspirations. Your bankruptcy attorney should have empathy for you and be willing to ask you probing, sometimes uncomfortable, questions.
Only hire someone interested in learning more about your financial situation. A skilled bankruptcy attorney will address your main concerns. Since not all attorneys have exceptional courtroom etiquette, ask yourself whether you're at ease with that lawyer and if all of your issues were addressed after the meeting. If you're treated like a statistic rather than a person, cross that attorney off your checklist and proceed to the next until you find someone who respects you.
When lenders are involved in a lawsuit against you, you'll require an attorney who can devote his or her personal time to assist you with the difficulties you may be experiencing. The lawyer should always be easily reachable by phone, email, or in person. If your attorney isn't considering what you're entitled to, it's time to find someone else.
Up-to-date Legal Expertise
If this criterion isn't met, it'll be a deal-breaker. Your potential Bankruptcy Lawyer should be well-versed in bankruptcy law. Rules and legislation governing this specialized industry change regularly, and if a lawyer fails to stay up to date, your bankruptcy case could suffer as a result. Inquire about the number of bankruptcy cases the lawyer has filed in the last twelve months. If you are not content with the response, exit his or her office and look for another attorney.
Your Comfort Level
Before you engage an attorney, consider if you are comfortable sharing your personal information with them. The nature of conversation is critical since if you don't feel safe revealing your concerns or keeping secrets as a client, it'll be a turnoff for your eventual case. The lawyer wouldn't be able to tell if your appraisal of the matter is valid until she or he has all of the facts.
Both you and the bankruptcy lawyer have a hard task ahead of you: ensuring that you secure the finest bargain possible for your circumstances. That will necessitate difficult discussions and a commitment to open dialogue that will aid in this process. It all boils down to having a personality that meshes well with the lawyer. Your lawyer does not need to be a friend of yours. However, they do need to be your ally and give you tough advice, which will usually revolve around your finances. However, the attorney must eventually create a pleasant setting for his or her client.
Be aware of a "bankruptcy mill" or law companies that manage several bankruptcy cases that the lawyers cannot give their full attention to. If you're unable to engage one-on-one with your attorney during the ﬁrst appointment to raise your issues and discuss your potential case, you should seek legal counsel elsewhere.
Compensation Tailored To Your Specific Situation
Although filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will normally cost less than a Chapter 13, there isn't a "correct" price a bankruptcy lawyer should charge. Fees differ from one lawsuit to the next as well as different states. The cost for declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy could range from $500 to $3,500, while a Chapter 13 will cost between $4,000 and $6,000. The more difficult the case, the more costly it will be.
During your initial consultation, inquire about the lawyer's pricing structure as well as take into account the types of services that are included. The most crucial thing is to ensure that you're receiving your money's worth for your case. Check to see whether your attorney offers payment plans for Chapter 7 filings. For Chapter 13, you should find out how much of the total fee the lawyer will require you to pay prior to filing, as some of the fees can be put into the Chapter 13 payment plan, lightening your up-front financial commitment.
Always Responds Quickly
Apart from a court victory, nothing makes clients happier than attentive attorneys. On the other hand, nothing irritates clients more than trying to track down their lawyer. The number one principle for achieving a client's happiness is to answer clients' calls and emails promptly. Consider an attorney that returns your calls and emails in the order listed: promptly, urgently, and as the last resort, within one business day. If the attorney is unable to respond to your calls or emails within a reasonable time, this could lead to future frustration between you and your attorney and this could negatively impact your case.
Find a Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me
Declaring bankruptcy could be an extremely exhausting procedure. It gets even worse if you hire the wrong lawyer for your case. It can be challenging to identify the ideal attorney to assist you in filing such cases. It's difficult to tell the difference between scammers and genuine people. The best source to discover and study your prospective bankruptcy lawyer in today’s world is the internet, but you don't know whom to trust. The industry of declaring bankruptcy has grown and attorneys are swarming in massive numbers to take full advantage of people who lack the necessary information.
In most situations, borrowers end up receiving substandard services during their bankruptcy process. As a result, it's critical to be extra cautious when looking for a bankruptcy attorney. Having experience dating back to 2009 in bankruptcy legal expertise in the surrounding Sacramento area, our professional and award-winning attorney at Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyer can protect your property and assets to the fullest extent provided by law. If you're considering declaring bankruptcy, give us a call at 916-800-7690 to schedule a free consultation with our local bankruptcy attorney Pauldeep Bains.