Everyone experiences financial trouble, whether it’s due to over-borrowing, maxing out a credit card, skipping on a loan payment, etc. Declaring bankruptcy is a big decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.
That’s why you need an expert to help you through this complicated and highly stressful process. But before you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, here are some questions you should ask them to determine if they’re the best fit for you.
How much experience do you have with bankruptcy cases?
When you go to a law firm, the first question you should ask in the initial consultation is how long the firm, or the individual lawyer who will work on your case, has been practicing bankruptcy law.
To successfully represent your case, you need a bankruptcy attorney who has complete knowledge of bankruptcy law, along with relevant experience.
To assess a lawyer’s experience, inquire about the types of cases they have previously handled, and determine if these cases were similar to yours. Choose a lawyer who’s capable of handling your situation, so they’ll be able to give you the legal advice you need as you go through this grueling process.
Image Filename: deciding-which-personal-bankruptcy-claim-to-file
Image Alt text: Deciding between a chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy claim
Which type of personal bankruptcy should I file?
There are two types of personal bankruptcy: chapter 7 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 is for liquidation, whereby the court will sell all your non-exempt assets, and the money from the sale will be given to your creditors.
Your bankruptcy lawyer should be well-versed in your exempt assets, which are protected by the state from seizure or creditor attachment. It’s their responsibility to review your income and paystubs and determine whether you’re qualified for filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy claim.
There are five factors that make you eligible for chapter 13 bankruptcy: To save your house from foreclosure, to save your vehicle from repossession, if you have a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if your income is high and makes you ineligible for Chapter 7, and your non-exempt assets.
Ask your bankruptcy attorney why they recommend a chapter 13 claim, as lawyers and firms make more money on chapter 13 and might wrongly advise you to do so to secure maximum profits.
What are your fees, and will there be any additional costs later?
If you’re filing for chapter 7, you’re liable to pay the entire fee in full before your lawyer can file your case. After they have filed your chapter 7 bankruptcy case, they can no longer demand any more money from you for any legal services.
You should also compare the cost of one attorney to a few others in the general area. Every attorney has a different price for their services. Those with less experience are generally cheaper.
Ask your bankruptcy lawyer for a total estimate, including filing costs, attorney’s fees, administration fees, court expenses, etc. so you can ensure that there will be no hidden charges later.
If you’re looking for skilled and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys in Reno, contact us, at Kalicki Collier, LLP. We’re well-versed in bankruptcy law in the District of Nevada and can advise you on the best steps to take. Call us at (775) 204-0600 and let us help you get through this difficult time with ease.