Questions to Ask a Bankruptcy Attorney
Going through the bankruptcy process is a rather stressful one, and one that no one should really go through on their own. For this reason, hiring a bankruptcy attorney is a fantastic idea. In this situation though, just like when you hire any attorney, there are some questions that you should ask to ensure that you get the best possible attorney. Here is a list of question to ask a bankruptcy attorney when you meet with them.
- Is this your specialty? It is usually best to hire an attorney that specializes in the field that you are having trouble with. For example, if you are facing criminal problems, you should get a criminal attorney, if you are facing family problems, a family law attorney is who you go and get. A bankruptcy attorney is the person who has been trained and specializes in the problems that you are facing. Along with that specialization comes experience which you will need.
- Is this a good option for me? One of the first questions that you should ask a potential bankruptcy attorney is whether or not bankruptcy is a viable option for you. Believe it or not, bankruptcy won't work for everyone, and in fact isn't really available for everyone. Be completely honest with your attorney, and spell out the situation that currently exists so they get a good idea of what you are facing.
- What are the effects bankruptcy will have on me? There will be both positive and negative effects that come along with a bankruptcy, so be sure that you are aware of them. Your attorney should know what most (if not all) of these are if you don't already. This is also a great question to ask simply to test the general knowledge level of your attorney.
- What do I need to do to get started? All attorneys collect information and prepare their cases in a different way. By asking your attorney what you need to do, what information you need to get together, will go a long way in helping to move your case along and allow you to get to know your attorney better. In addition, the more work you do yourself, the lower the bill will be when you are finished.
- When I need to go to court, who will go with me? For most bankruptcy cases there will only be a single time when you need to go to court. That being said, it never hurts to know who exactly will be going with you. By knowing the answer to this question, you will have a better idea of what to expect as well.
- How much is the fee? There is an old saying that goes "Their ain't no such thing as a free lunch," and that applies to lawyers as well. BE sure that you ask about who much the bankruptcy will cost you.
- What is included in the fee? While you are talking about money, make sure that you also ask, what is covered by the money that you will be paying. While most attorneys will say that the fee will cover the basic filing, there are times when odd things crop up. Does this fee cover those odd instances, or will there be more money that needs to be paid?
- Do you use a written fee agreement? Without a doubt attorneys are expensive, and bankruptcy attorneys are expensive as well. Good thing about bankruptcy attorneys is that they will often take payment plans (since you are filing for bankruptcy after all). However, you should always get an agreement like this in writing. That way if there is any dispute or questions about what is covered, and how the payments were to be made you have something to reference.