Are you considering using a bankruptcy attorney to help you with your financial problems? If so, you have made a wise decision. As with any professional, bankruptcy lawyers are there to help you through the process of filing bankruptcy and helping you come out on the other side having your assets protected and your debts paid off.
However, many bankruptcy attorneys only do one or two things well and other ones not so well. In this article, I will offer four tips for finding a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney that will meet your needs and do so well.Chapter 13 offers some protections against foreclosure as it allows you to catch up on past-due payments while still living in your home; this means that mortgage lenders are more willing to renegotiate terms so they allow borrowers additional time before foreclosing on homes.
It also protects individuals from garnishment which could result if wages were seized due at tax refund offsets or future earnings.
If a bankruptcy attorney makes you feel at ease at your first meeting, you may want to continue to work with them. A good bankruptcy attorney will always offer you confidentiality, either in writing or verbally, a free initial consultation to discuss your case. This is a time for the legal professionals to get to know you, explore your personal situation and develop a plan to best meet your unique circumstances. Typically, an attorney who takes this approach treats their clients as friends.
Prose option. Some bankruptcy lawyers offer pro se services, meaning they take on cases without charging a fee for the initial meeting. For some cases, this may be a good idea. For example, if you feel you don’t know enough about the bankruptcy process to discuss it with a lawyer face to face, a prose service allows you to go into the meeting knowing all you need to know and nothing you don’t. If you’re worried about revealing too much information at this initial meeting, you may want to consider talking to an attorney before making a commitment.
Attorneys will also offer you legal advice when you meet with them. Remember, they are not a substitute for a lawyer; they are here to serve you. As such, they will have your best interest in mind and will only give you the advice they believe will benefit you the most, based on their legal experience and personal experiences with many bankruptcy lawyers.
Attorneys should encourage you to ask questions. Feel free to ask specific questions about your case, such as what steps you must take after filing, whether they will continue to represent you after you file and whether they can give you a good bankruptcy attorney referral. While attorneys are trained to appear confident and experienced, they should never make you feel uncomfortable or lie to you in any way. If you do feel uncomfortable, ask them to explain their procedures and leave, do not sign anything or agree to anything until you feel comfortable with them and that you understand their fees.