So you’re getting ready to file bankruptcy.
Despite the social stigma, there’s nothing to be ashamed of – thousands of folks (possibly millions, worldwide) have filed for bankruptcy, and so many more will do so. Given that you’ve made this momentous decision, it’s time to access work.
The first step:
Find the appropriate bankruptcy lawyer.
Is it as easy as simply finding out about “Bankruptcy Lawyers” online? Actually, it’s easier. Searching the American Bar Association website for a complete directory of attorneys by state to find one close to you.
Once you’ve discovered regulations offices locally, you’ll want to invest some time with each someone to help inform for you to decide. Think about it such as a appointment – you’re hiring these to work for you so you want the best, most qualified candidate, and make sure, like any employer, you’re going to get the most for your cash.
While you research bankruptcy attorney houston tx locally, keep in mind the next points:
Just how long have they been practicing bankruptcy law?
Also, just how long have they been practicing in your area?
Just how many bankruptcy cases do they handle on a monthly basis?
What is their charge structure like?
Are they current on any and all code changes?
Time on the job is important, but more important is that they have been practicing locally. Every state has their own nuances in bankruptcy law, and every judge is unique using their own quirks about them. If you meet a lawyer that has been practicing for 30 years, but has only experienced your area for a couple of months, you might want to keep looking – chances are they’re not entirely knowledgeable about the local judiciary and could be learning the specifics for your state.
The amount of cases they handle is also important since it also shows knowledge of trustees, judges, and court procedures in your area. You don’t want to work with someone to whom you’re yet another file – you deserve personal attention, and someone handling 30-40 cases a month isn’t going to own time to take care of you prefer an individual.
Bankruptcy law has specific guidelines set up for what an legal professional may charge to file, however, many things to look out for: Does the charge include preparation of the reorganization plan and representation at the hearing? Just how much of the fee will they require up-front? Do they have a payment plan to help you spend the money for legal costs? Regardless of whether you’re filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 (something you’ll want your potential lawyer to help you decide), make sure their fees include consultation and analysis, preparing and reviewing the petition, attendance at meetings, and following up with your creditors to make certain you don’t get hit with any post-filing collection attempts.
You’ll also want to make certain that whoever you use is 100% together with current updates to regulations. The newest, big changes came when congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005, and as we’ve discussed before, every new administration inevitably brings new changes, so don’t hesitate to ask if they’re aware of any possible changes in the works.
Finally, stay away from bankruptcy mills. These places prefer to brag about their level of cases and low fees, but you’ll definitely get what you pay for (and we don’t imply that in the nice way).
Who you decide to handle your case is your business (and make no mistakes about any of it, bankruptcy law is an enterprise). But getting the right representative working for you, fighting for you, makes a significant difference in how easy the procedure is, and exactly how you turn out on the other hand, so make sure you choose the best lawyer for you.