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. Read on to learn more about what you should consider when hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
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 in lieu 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. Your attorney should show compassion towards you and be willing to help you obtain the financial legal relief you need.
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 personal injury law 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 costs and complexity. Typically, bankruptcy attorney fees range from $800 to $3,500 from start to finish. Find out if the bankruptcy attorney collects the fee all at once, or provides his/her clients with payment plans. You should avoid bankruptcy mills that charge unreasonable low rates in order to crank out thousands of 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. If an attorney charges much less than market rate, it may be an indication that he/she does not have the legal skills to properly handle your case.
Most importantly, we recommend you obtain legal representation and do not file for bankruptcy by yourself. Doing so can leave you worse off financially prior to filing your claim.
Meagan Kerr is a bankruptcy legal content writer for bankruptcy law firms in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her bankruptcy legal articles are written in a fashion that gives average users a great understanding of bankruptcy law in Oklahoma. For more details on Oklahoma bankruptcy law go to her legal blog at: http://tulsabankruptcylawyers.net/