If you are like so many millions of people who have run into financial troubles during this rough economy and you feel that the only solution is to file for bankruptcy you will need to hire a personal bankruptcy attorney. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to try and save money by learning how to file for bankruptcy and trying to handle it all themselves. The problem is that the legal system is very complex and the laws can vary greatly from one state to the next so it’s virtually impossible for you to learn everything you need to know to take care of your own bankruptcy.
When it comes to hiring a lawyer to help you through this legal maze, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
1. The first thing you need to remember is that you will be working closely with your attorney for weeks or months to come and you want to find someone who you are going to trust and feel comfortable working closely with.
2. Make sure you interview several attorneys before you hire one. Most will offer a free initial consultation so you can afford to do this. When you sit down to talk to them ask them what their fee schedule is as well as how many associates will be working on your case. In most cases the attorney will actually spend very little time on your case, most of the paperwork will be done by paralegals and clerks.
3. Ask the attorney how many personal bankruptcies they typically handle per month, or year. A personal bankruptcy will be much different from a corporate bankruptcy and you want a lawyer who is experienced in the type of bankruptcy you are filing. Just because they say they handle a lot of bankruptcies a year may not mean much to you if they handle almost all corporate bankruptcies and not personal.
4. When you decide on a certain attorney, make sure that you bring all the necessary paperwork to your meeting. Your attorney should give you a list of the specific things you need to bring, but if they don’t, ask them.
For the most part you’ll need any loan documents for both secured and unsecured loans, all medical and credit card bills, and all checking and savings account information. Your attorney will need to be able to determine not only how much debt you have but also how many assets. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to lie. If you lie about your assets and that lie comes to light there can be serious legal ramifications, it’s just not worth it.
5. To a large degree what state you live in will determine whether or not you can keep your home. A lawyer will let you know the various types of bankruptcies available for your situation and which option is best for you.
Going through a bankruptcy is a nerve racking experience. To make it somewhat easier it’s important that you have an advocate on your site. Make sure you find a good personal bankruptcy attorney that you trust and like so that you can make this process less painful.