Bankruptcy is, by far, one of the biggest problems plaguing the American people today — according to data from the Bankruptcy Institute in July of 2013, there had been over 87,000 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. that year, and one out of every 70 American households file for bankruptcy at some point. In other words, if you’ve found yourself in a sticky situation and you’re thinking that you might need to file for bankruptcy yourself, the first thing to do is find a bankruptcy lawyer, who can guide you through the process.
Of course, finding a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy filings is a completely different issue, and one that can be equally as stressful. If you’re in the process of finding an attorney to help you out, here are some of the most important questions to ask a lawyer before hiring him/ her to help you through your financial woes:
- How much experience do you have (or does your firm have) with bankruptcy cases? Many law firms offer services for a variety of legal problems, but will have certain lawyers or groups of legal experts that specialize in specific areas. An independent lawyer, on the other hand, may just have one or two specialties. Although having decades of experience isn’t always necessary, it’s always comforting to know that you can find a bankruptcy lawyer who knows what he/ she is doing.
- How much is your fee? Oddly enough, it’s possible not to be able to afford to file for bankruptcy; the court fees, along with lawyer fees, can be pretty expensive. Bankruptcy fees are usually between $1,200 and $2,500, and it’s important to have a written contract for the required fees when you’re choosing an attorney for your bankruptcy case — the last thing you need is even more financial trouble.
- Do I even need to file for bankruptcy? This question might seem silly, but really — when you a find a bankruptcy lawyer who honestly wants to help you make the best decisions. There are plenty of alternatives to bankruptcy, and you might just benefit from one of these alternatives more so than if you filed for bankruptcy.
All in all, never hesitate to ask questions and ask for references when you’re looking around for a lawyer, and remember that your situation is unique — and you deserve to find a bankruptcy lawyer who will treat it that way! Helpful sites.
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