When you find yourself in financial crisis and other alternatives do not seem to provide a feasible solution, you need to begin considering filing bankruptcy as a way to protect yourself and any assets you may want to retain from your creditors. Equally as important as this decision is that of selecting the right bankruptcy attorney. Most bankruptcy attorneys are associated with a law firm, so it's important that your research goes beyond that of the individual alone.
Find an experienced bankruptcy attorney
Make sure you file with an attorney who has years of experience working in the field of bankruptcy, some law firms cover several specialties, rather than specialize in bankruptcy law. This can have a negative effect on your case if you file with an attorney who only deals with bankruptcy cases occasionally. Finding a seasoned attorney who understands the laws of the bankruptcy code in your state to file your case with will make a huge difference in the outcome. Also make sure the law firm or attorney are able to guarantee your case will be filed accurately.
Find an attorney with low flat fees and payment plans
The attorney or law firm should understand that you have a huge financial problem and you may not be able to shell out their fee in full, which can range from $700 to $1700 depending on which state and city you live in. When you find an attorney who's willing to give you payment options it shows that they understand your situation and are sympathetic to the fact that you are strapped for cash.
Find an attorney that offers free consultations and evaluation of your bankruptcy case
Personal bankruptcy is one of the toughest decisions you'll ever make, with so much pressure and the creditor harassment you may be experiencing you don't want to be worried about spending unnecessarily and a bankruptcy consultation should in fact be free. Your attorney should put your needs first by providing a free evaluation of your current financial status. If the attorney you contact insists or refuses to waive their consultation fee, look for another attorney. There are too many law firms and individual bankruptcy attorneys who are happy to offer free consultations, there's no need to pay for one.
Evaluate the attorney and client relationship from the beginning
You need to feel comfortable with your attorney, a good bankruptcy attorney will be able to guide you through this difficult time by providing not only the adequate bankruptcy service you need, but by being understanding and sympathetic to your case. They should be able to relieve the pressure you're under and you should walk out of their office feeling comfortable about your decision to file personal bankruptcy. Your attorney should also have the willingness to answer your questions however specific they may be.
Do not worry about location and proximity
Whether you file chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should not limit yourself to filing with just any attorney because their office is 10 minutes from your home. We're in the age of information and electronic communication, and everything you need to file your case can be done electronically (email, fax etc) starting with your free evaluation. More cases are being filed online with bankruptcy law firms across the nation, remember that you want the most experienced and most economic service so don't overlook filing bankruptcy online.
Credit report assistance after your bankruptcy discharge
You'll more than likely find that filing personal bankruptcy begins to show its effects about three months after your discharge when you check your credit report and find that you have accounts that are still labeled delinquent, late or in collections. Your bankruptcy attorney should be able to recommend a path for solving these discrepancies which can certainly hurt you when you begin to rebuild your credit.
Research your chosen bankruptcy attorney or law firm
It's important that you do some digging and check the worthiness of your chosen bankruptcy attorney, one of the best sources of information for consumers is the Better Business Bureau website. Any business, company, corporation or law firm that cares about providing quality service is registered with the BBB. If your chosen attorney or law firm is not, then at least gather some referrals to see what level of service they have provided in the past. Remember that experience is important and the track record that the BBB will reveal about your attorney will either give you reassurance or make you think twice about hiring them.
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