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Questions To Ask Your Bankruptcy Attorney During Consultation
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Most people show up in an attorney’s office because they need help with one of a small number of problems—and the attorney will be aware of this pattern. For instance, when a bankruptcy attorney asks you what prompted you to call, it’s likely that you’ll say that your debts are piling up and that the stress is becoming unbearable. you may wish to write them down. A good attorney will be happy to answer them. I certainly never mind if my clients bring a list of questions, because I want people to leave my office understanding their options. If they have additional questions later, I encourage them to send me an email or call. Bankruptcy is a major decision, and you should not take that step until you are fully informed. But you could be facing one of the following situations, too, and if you are, the lawyer will want to know about it because it will require quick attention:
Ask About His or Her Past Experience
There are many reasons having an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your corner is important. Are you unsure if bankruptcy will help you? Do you wonder what options are available other than bankruptcy? Are you curious as to how the different chapters of bankruptcy work?
To determine your attorney’s level of experience, be sure to ask how long he or she has been practicing bankruptcy law and which areas of law his or her firm specializes in during your initial consultation.
Ask Him or Her About Payment Options
If you are seeking a bankruptcy attorney due to financial problems, the attorney you choose should understand you need flexibility in order to pay for that help. An attorney who is not willing to work with you on payments is demonstrating to you that you are just another case to them. Their concern for your wellbeing does not extend beyond your ability to pay their attorney fees. Will your bankruptcy attorney be accepting installment payment options for their fees?
Their guiding principle is to HELP you get your life back by offering no money down on our fees. For a Chapter 13, you will only pay the filing fee and credit counseling courses up front, because all of our fees are paid through the plan.
Every law office will have a different process. The process is not uniform. Some offices will provide a questionnaire and list of required paperwork prior to the consultation, others will hand it out when you arrive. The initial bankruptcy consultation is a first meeting, usually lasting between 30-60 minutes, in which your bankruptcy attorney gets a feel for the financial issues you are confronting and how best to address them.
A good bankruptcy attorney will not try to “steer” you in the direction of bankruptcy and the meeting may very well end with your attorney recommending that you hold off filing or that you completely forego the bankruptcy process altogether. Any good consultation will focus on your assets and how best to protect them as well the discharge of your debts.
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