Filing for bankruptcy is a great way to get rid of burdensome debt, and most people feel a great sense of relief when their bankruptcy case is over. However, evaluating and comprehending the process and filling out bankruptcy forms can be daunting.
At times when someone struggles in returning debts and in coping up with living expenses, he may search for an affordable bankruptcy lawyer to get assistance in filing for bankruptcy. If it is hard for you to find a bankruptcy lawyer due to your financial situation, you’re not alone. Filers often find limitations while affording the fee charged by bankruptcy lawyers.
But to get away from your debts and the bankrupt label, you need to hire one. Here’s a complete overview of how to file bankruptcy with a lawyer and what they actually do to retain you from going bankrupt.
- What does a bankruptcy lawyer do? Find your answers here
- What does a bankruptcy lawyer do?
- What to consider while hiring a bankruptcy lawyer
- Required Experience and Background
- Professional History
- Client Reviews and Testimonials
- Successful results
- Initial consultation
- How much does it cost to file bankruptcy with a lawyer?
What does a bankruptcy lawyer do?
Bankruptcy is explained as a legal procedure that is initiated by an individual or a business that cannot pay their debts to have reorganized by the courts. Bankruptcy, the word itself is so frightful with negative perceptions that people often forget the actual purpose behind filing for it. It prevents you from creditors and relieves you from almost all your debt obligations. And this is where a bankruptcy lawyer helps you; protects you from financial obligations and saves your resources from debt collectors.
In 2017, bankruptcy lawyers represented 91.5% of customers from 486,347 cases filed in Chapter 7, said Ed Flynn, a professor from American Bankruptcy Institute. Lawyers helped clients in paying their debts and the success rate was 96.2% of all resolved cases. On the other hand, people who worked themselves to represent in Chapter 7 of Bankruptcy were successful just about 66.7% at the same time. That may give you a thought that “Can I file bankruptcy without a lawyer?” We suggest you should look at the statistics before you opt for filing bankruptcy without a lawyer.
The statistics showed a more dramatic inclination for the customers who chose Bankruptcy Chapter 13 to represent themselves and succeeded 2.3% of all time. The success rate further increased to 41.5% when they chose a lawyer to represent them in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
So if your creditors are giving you a tough time and your soured financial status frightens you from getting bankrupt, then it’s high time you should consult a bankruptcy lawyer. But first, consider making a checklist to look for before hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.
What to consider while hiring a bankruptcy lawyer
If you’re considering hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, it should be at your highest priority to consider a few things including the ability of the lawyer to provide you with the greatest relief from creditors and surety that your debts will be discharged without damaging your finances and disturbing your life.
Deciding on the right bankruptcy lawyer is quite challenging, while a thorough Google research can help you find a local bankruptcy lawyer in your state. Here are a few guidelines that can assist you in comparing affordable bankruptcy lawyers and in hiring a knowledgeable candidate.
Required experience and background
While hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, you should select the one with substantial experience in helping people with financial situations identical to yours. For instance, if you run a small business and you need to hire an attorney at some stage, then you may look for a lawyer who has experience in filing bankruptcy under Chapter 11 Subchapter V.
On the other hand, if you want to protect your assets from creditors, then you may need to find a lawyer experienced with strategies used to prevent foreclosures. Many lawyers associated with law firms receive certification and memberships as a reward for their legal prowess. On searching for the local bankruptcy lawyers you can narrow down your search.
Information about the histories of bankruptcy lawyers can be attained through the official state bar websites under the jurisdiction they belong. After shortlisting the names of some lawyers, you may want to review disciplinary history to sense the events leading towards them.
A serious violation may become a red flag, but you may not want to lose a lawyer with minor infractions considering his significant position among others. But that doesn’t mean at all that you hire a lawyer that makes egregious mistakes and is unable to provide the relief available for you.
Client reviews and testimonials
Client reviews can help you find the professional skills a lawyer possesses, the level of communication, and personality traits even if your demands are different from them. However, you should be thoughtful about the long effusively positive reviews under a profile without mentioning the details of the case. They might not be trustworthy.
Another way to testify the credibility of a lawyer is to see if he has received favorable comments and reviews from other lawyers, judges, or bankruptcy trustees. This will indicate a positive reputation of the lawyer in the legal community.
Often lawyers discuss and mention the most successful area of their fields and discuss the cases they have successfully solved in their blogs and pages. However, looking at these results you may not need to conclude that you will get the same results. If there’s a similar case where the lawyer has the experience and boasted about the successful completion, it could be a positive sign instead. From this, you can have insights if the lawyer impressively works for your situation and maximizes your possible relief.
When you contact bankruptcy lawyers, they may offer free consultation as most of them do for their potential clients. The first consultation determines if the lawyer is compatible with your case and helps both the client and lawyer to decide whether they can work together. Here, you should not hire the lawyer at once even if the degrees and experience impressed you, but you should hire him if he can understand your situation and jell nicely with you.
Bring out a list of your queries at your first consultation, it will help you decide the perfect candidate. There should not be a precise legal definition of your answer, but you may be expecting a general answer that may reflect what you feel. They should articulate the reasons and outcomes that can be easily comprehensible to a non-lawyer.
How much does it cost to file bankruptcy with a lawyer?
After you select a bankruptcy lawyer, you should finalize the finances that you need to bear for your case. Bankruptcy lawyer’s fees greatly depend on the form which you have chosen, your location, and of course the complexity of your case.
The standard bankruptcy lawyer fee for Chapter 13 is $3,500, whereas for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $1,500. You may need to bear other legal costs, which include a filing fee of $313 for Chapter 13 and $338 for Bankruptcy Chapter 7. The fees for financial management courses and credit counseling both can range from $10-$100.
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