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Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney and How to Choose One
Bankruptcy is a specialized section of the law. It is a legal process involving issues ranging from simple to the complex. With the changes to the bankruptcy law, it may be more difficult to file for one. If you are considering bankruptcy, it would be wise to hire a bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process.
When you hire a bankruptcy attorney, you are not just hiring someone to prepare and file your papers. More importantly, a bankruptcy attorney provides you with advice on legal issues and makes sure your rights are protected.
A bankruptcy attorney will:
* Educate you on bankruptcy laws, your rights and responsibilities including your options and the consequences of bankruptcy.
* Assess your financial situation and help you decide the best option to take.
* Walk you through every step of bankruptcy filing and all the new regulations.
* Represent you in court.
* Deal with your creditors.
Here are some important things to consider when interviewing a prospective bankruptcy attorney:
• Fees – Ask if the bankruptcy attorney will charge you a fixed fee and be certain as to what services are covered in that fee. Find out if there are any additional fees that you have to pay. The average fee of a bankruptcy attorney is around $800 to $1000.00.
The cost is just one of the things to consider but should never be the deciding factor in choosing a bankruptcy attorney.
• Expertise – Look for someone who is experienced in bankruptcy cases and is who is up to date and familiar with all bankruptcy procedures. Find out how long the bankruptcy attorney has been in practice and how many cases similar to yours has he handled.
• Service – Will the bankruptcy attorney assist you in every step of the process? Will he go with you at court meetings? Will you be working with him mostly or with a legal assistant?
• Communication – In choosing a bankruptcy attorney, go with someone you can speak to with ease. Communication is very critical so you have to be comfortable in asking your bankruptcy attorney questions. Study how he responds to you and if he makes an effort to make sure you understand everything.
Bankruptcy laws differ in each state so be sure to find a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area. Once you have made your selection, be sure that all agreements are in writing. Read all documents carefully. Be honest with your lawyer and do not withhold any information that is relevant to your case. Be involved. It is your case and your life. Your bankruptcy attorney is there to assist you but you should play the central role.