What Can You Expect From a Good Bankruptcy Attorney?

If you have filed for bankruptcy or you’re thinking about it, it’s a good idea to obtain the services of a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can help you wend your way through the legal ramifications of a bankruptcy because he or she will have knowledge you may not have.

You can do some of your bankruptcy work yourself, it still helps significantly to have a bankruptcy attorney look over your documentation and make sure everything is in order before you file. You also need to know your rights as someone who is filing for bankruptcy, and an attorney can help you make sure that you get all of your rights met and keep whatever you’re entitled to as well.

In addition, a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is going to have many insights you do not have. For example, they can make suggestions or recommendations as to what other options you may have which may be much better for you than facing the long-term negative effects of bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy laws have changed in the last few years, so that today, it’s harder to file for what’s called “Chapter 7” or liquidation bankruptcy than it used to be. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is basically what used to be called “straight bankruptcy.” With this, those who file for bankruptcy turn over any nonexempt assets for liquidation to creditors, and then debts are paid off with these liquidated assets. When the proceedings are over, the debtor is completely exempt from further pursuit by creditors and the debt is completely discharged. A bankruptcy attorney can tell you whether or not you qualify for this particular type of bankruptcy. If you do, it’s generally advised that you take advantage of this type of bankruptcy, since it will exempt you from any further responsibility for these debts once the bankruptcy is complete. However, be advised that you will lose nonexempt assets for liquidation, including perhaps your house. Therefore, the pros are that you are completely “forgiven” your debts, but you may have to start from scratch.

Also you need to be aware that there are certain types of debts such as tax liens, student loans, child support and others that cannot be discharged by any form of bankruptcy, so if this type of debt makes up a major portion of your indebtedness, declaring bankruptcy is not going to help you in the least.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the other major type of bankruptcy that most debtors look to file for today. With new bankruptcy laws, most states will not let you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have a regular income. What this type of bankruptcy says is that you’re not going to be forgiven your debts. Instead, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is what is known as “reorganization” bankruptcy for debtors with an income. With this, you are allowed to keep most assets, including your house in most cases. However, you’re going to have to make payments to your creditors through a trustee over a period of several years, usually, until the debt is paid off. A plan is drawn up for the repayment and then a court approves or disapproves of it, based upon whether or not it meets bankruptcy code requirements for confirmation.

Again, obtaining a bankruptcy attorney is a good idea to help you determine what type of bankruptcy you qualify for and which is best for you. Be advised, though, that bankruptcy attorneys aren’t free and even if you are facing financial hardship, you’re still going to have to come up with attorneys’ fees of roughly several hundred dollars to have a bankruptcy attorney handle your matter for you. Still, it’s money well spent so that you know you’ve done everything you can to make your bankruptcy proceedings go as smoothly as possible. After that, of course, you can get on with your life. Most people who file discover that they have saved much more than the amount of the attorney’s fees in terms of the money and assets they were able to retain, based on the attorney’s intimate knowledge of the new bankruptcy laws.

Various Options for Bankruptcy Attorney Fee

Bankruptcy is not just a problem but a big problem, something that has the power to destroy your life, career, home and relationships. If you are under the threat of this powerful demon then without wasting any further time you should hire yourself a bankruptcy attorney. Why would hiring an attorney help your situation? Well, first of all the attorney is the only person in the whole wide world that can come to your rescue, he or she will explain to you what kind of bankruptcy you need to declare whether its chapter 7 or 13 and how much water you are in. What is chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy? Chapter 7 bankruptcy also known as straight liquidation bankruptcy; it is your best solution when you are under the burden of dis-chargeable debts like Credit Card debt, medical bills, business debt, unsecured loans etc. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides you with a chance to work out a debt relief plan, allowing you to pay your debt in installments; this kind of bankruptcy should be considered if you are far behind your debt payments or own valuable property that is not exempt.

These are the most common kinds of problems that the people of today face, inflation has made everything so expensive that people are left with no choice but to borrow and then fulfill their basic needs. A good bankruptcy attorney can handle this kind of situation very smoothly, with the declaration of chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy your attorney would help you liquidate all your non exempt property and use the cash from this sale to pay off creditors ( as much of the debt that can be paid off with the receipts of the sale). It is the best course of action for people who are expecting financial problems as it allows you to keep all your exempt property. The bankruptcy attorney fee depends upon how complicated the situation is, if the problem is small naturally less effort is required to solve it therefore the bankruptcy attorney fee would be less too but on the other hand if the problem is very complicated and difficult more effort and time will be put in by the attorney and that means a higher fee.

The bankruptcy attorney fee also depends upon the system that the lawyer follows; some attorney opt for an hourly wage rate while others take a flat fee at beginning of the case, some attorneys even ask for a certain percentage in advance while the remaining at the end of the case. So there are several options available for you to choose from, you can take up the one that is most suitable for you and fits your budget. Some bankruptcy attorneys provide the option of working in your required budget, they have a detailed discussion with you regarding the case and your budget and if it is suitable for them they agree to take your case otherwise they don’t.

I believe this kind of bankruptcy attorney fee is most convenient, one has a fair idea how much he or she will be spending and so one can plan accordingly. However a little piece of advice; don’t be stingy on the bankruptcy attorney fee because the attorney is the only person who can save you from bankruptcy problems so you should give him ample room to work out a perfect strategy for you without bounding him with budget restrictions. Hopefully this article would have served its purpose of providing you with good information regarding attorney fee and various options around it.

Bankruptcy Attorneys – Tips For Locating Personal Or Business Bankruptcy Lawyers

Retaining the services of bankruptcy attorneys is not required by law. However, filing bankruptcy is no easy feat and generally requires some level of legal assistance. Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in helping individuals and businesses obtain debt relief through the various bankruptcy chapters.

Most bankruptcy attorneys specialize in either personal or corporate bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy chapters include 7 and 13. Chapters 9 and 11 are generally reserved for corporations and partnerships; however, individuals with extensive debts can file Chapter 11. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is reserved for farmers. 

It is a good idea to consult with at least three bankruptcy attorneys before making a final decision. Keep in mind you will be spending a considerable amount of time with your lawyer and their staff.  

Oftentimes, paralegals are assigned to your case and will conduct the majority of work. This helps keep legal fees affordable since paralegals are compensated at a lower hourly rate than attorneys. Therefore, request the presence of the paralegal and other staff members at your initial meeting.  

One of the best sources for locating bankruptcy attorneys is other lawyers. The majority of attorneys network with colleagues and are familiar with their skills and areas of expertise. If you retain the services of an attorney for other legal matters, ask for a referral.  

If you have friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers who have filed bankruptcy, ask them for a referral. This can be a touchy subject, so it is best to ask the person in private. It’s not a good idea to yell across cubicles to ask Sally how she liked her bankruptcy lawyer. It’s also not a good idea to ask someone for a referral unless they have personally told you they filed bankruptcy.  

If you prefer to seek out bankruptcy attorneys on your own, visit the American Bar Association website at www.abanet.org. ABA provides a list of nationwide bankruptcy lawyers. Although most ABA chapters do not offer referrals, they can provide a list of names and contact information.  

Once you have compiled a list of bankruptcy attorneys, contact each to arrange an initial consultation. Be certain to ask if the law firm provides complimentary consultations or if there will be a fee. Additionally, ask what documents they will require and request three to four customer referrals.  

Most bankruptcy attorneys will require financial information including income, expenses, current tax return, real estate and financial portfolios, and a list of assets such as automobiles, jewelry and household furnishings.  

By reviewing your finances, lawyers can advise which bankruptcy chapter you are qualified to file. Chapter 7 requires liquidation of assets to repay creditors, while Chapter 13 requires repayment of debts over a specified period of time.  

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) enacted in 2005, has made filing bankruptcy exceptionally challenging. One provision requires debtors to repay a portion of their debts whenever possible. Every person who files for bankruptcy protection must undergo the ‘means’ test to determine how much of their debts they will be required to pay.  

Additionally, BAPCPA requires debtors to undergo credit counseling through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. A reputable attorney will explain the rules of BAPCPA, the pros and cons of each bankruptcy chapter and advise you of all options available.  

Last, but not least, it is best to work with bankruptcy attorneys who put you at ease and thoroughly answer your questions. Undergoing the bankruptcy process can be quite stressful. The last thing you want to do is work with an attorney who is harsh, impatient or makes you uncomfortable.