Looking for a Local Bankruptcy Attorney – What to Ask Him?

It seems landing in bankruptcy is not THE END to your trouble; finding an experienced lawyer comes with a lot of legwork, confusion, and frustration to add to the spiraling crisis. When it comes to finding an experienced Toledo bankruptcy lawyer, options are not a few and it takes a lot of time, incisive assessment, and astute judgment to find a ‘TRIO’ – Friend, Philosopher, and Guide – in an attorney.

Not all bankruptcy cases are the same; some are more critical and challenging than others. Regardless of the nature of your bankruptcy case – Benign or Malignant –a good bankruptcy lawyer always provides the best of his/her legal service, support, and solution to help you bounce back from financial calamity. How to know a particular lawyer will be the best fit for your case?

Following is a set of 5 questions to ask a bankruptcy lawyer, which will effectively address your pertinent concerns:

How long have you been practicing as a bankruptcy lawyer?

You should hire a practicing lawyer whose ambit of specialization is bankruptcy law. This will ensure that the lawyer stays updated on the continuous changes in bankruptcy laws. A minimum of 3 years of experience in this specific field is a must-have quality on the lawyer’s profile. In addition, the professional must have handled hundreds of cases in his or her capacity of a bankruptcy lawyer.

What’s about your track record?

It’s important to know how many cases the lawyer has successfully handled, which are similar to yours. Ask the lawyer which type of bankruptcy cases he or she often works on.

Should I file Chapter 7 or Chapter13?

Only an experienced lawyer can offer a good suggestion subject to a dense assessment of your bankruptcy case. Chapter 7 works fine for those with a low-income ceiling. Filing Chapter 7 means you have to give up your rights to much of your property to come out of pending debts with few exceptions such as student loans or back taxes. Chapter 13 is more complicated but allows you to keep hold of your property and go with a payment plan to clear your debts.

How expensive is my bankruptcy case?

The lawyer should be frank with you in every aspect including how much expenses you have to bear. What is meant by the retainer fee? Do you have to bear any extra costs such as administrative fees? A good bankruptcy attorney is more likely to prepare a payment plan for you if required. The professional will also give a written agreement that explicitly mentions all the costs to be incurred in the course of the bankruptcy process.

Will you represent me in court?

The lawyer should tell it on your face if he/she will be available throughout the bankruptcy filing process, out-of-court negotiations, and court trials (in case, negotiation fails). Some lawyers don’t handle every detail of bankruptcy cases themselves and instead, leave the tasks to their team of junior attorneys. Such lawyers represent their clients only during out-of-the-court settlement or trials.

Final Words

This is not an end to the barrage of questions to be asked your lawyer. Make sure to enquire about the followings:

  • How to stay in touch with the lawyer – over the phone or via email?
  • Will filing bankruptcy provide me with much-needed buoyancy?
  • What problems may I have to face with bankruptcy?
  • How long will it take to finish my case?
  • What does post-bankruptcy future have in store for me?

The answers will serve as the best yardsticks to help you find a lawyer who can accelerate the process so that you can get a fresh start in life.

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