If you have fallen on financial hard times, or if you own a struggling business, you know the stress of dealing with creditors and lenders. It can be extremely overwhelming. You may have already attempted to get a loan modification or debt settlement. If these efforts have failed and you see no way to pay your debts, you are ready to consider bankruptcy. If you've arrived at that decision, you may be wondering how to go about it.
Bankruptcy is a process in which your debts are either discharged or reorganized depending on your circumstances and the type of bankruptcy you choose to file for. Simply filing for bankruptcy causes an automatic stay of all debt collection efforts against you. A bankruptcy case is something that needs to be resolved by the court system. While a person could choose to file alone, it isn't recommended. Bankruptcy is a complicated and highly technical process and it is difficult to navigate if you lack the expertise. It's recommended that you seek legal help to get through the process. Any mistakes in filing for bankruptcy could lead to your case being thrown out in court.
Five qualities to look for in a bankruptcy attorney
Not all bankruptcy attorneys are created equal.
Here are five qualities to look for in a bankruptcy attorney:
1.Personality and professionalism. It doesn't matter how many billboards or advertisements a lawyer has if that lawyer isn't competitive and professional. Let the lawyer's track record speak for itself.
2.Logical thinking. Sometimes a complete discharge of all debts isn't the best option for a person seeking bankruptcy. A reorganization of debts might be a better option. Similarly, it might be wise for a person to reaffirm some debts and continue to pay them off after bankruptcy. A good lawyer will explore all these options and discuss them with you. The lawyer you choose should be methodical and cautious, after all it's your financial future at stake.
3.Passionate. A lawyer who truly enjoys the profession is better than one who doesn't. Feel free to ask your lawyer why he/she chose the field. A passionate bankruptcy attorney will most likely be a more well versed one.
4.Good listener. Bankruptcy is a difficult situation. A good bankruptcy attorney will understand this and be empathetic. A bankruptcy attorney should listen to you and be open minded to what you have to say. Your attorney should also ask some probing questions to fully understand your situation and help you determine what will be best.
5.Reasonable fees. A good lawyer will justify what he/she charges. Know that price depends on the complexity of the case and the location in which a client resides. That said, a reputable bankruptcy attorney will charge reasonably for his/her services.
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