Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me
There are many resources to help you find the best bankruptcy lawyer near you.
Bankruptcy laws can be complicated. It’s best to hire a bankruptcy attorney. However, you shouldn’t choose anyone to handle your case.
You will need to share a lot of financial information during bankruptcy proceedings. You must work with someone you are comfortable with. You may need to meet with several candidates before you can find the right one.
This article will discuss how to vet and find people for the job.
Locating a bankruptcy lawyer
Referring someone you trust to help you find an attorney is a great way to file for bankruptcy. Friends and acquaintances might have more information about you and your needs. They may also have the experience that can help.
This option is not available to everyone. Here are some other options if you don’t have the opportunity to recommend someone you know.
- Legal assistance: Low-income people can get free legal advice from legal aid offices. They may be able to represent you free of charge if you are eligible.
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys The NACBA is a trade association of bankruptcy lawyers who represent individuals. Search the website for more information. Find an attorney in your area with a member directory.
- National Association of Consumer Advocates NACA is an advocacy group for consumers on various issues, including bankruptcy.
- Online directories: Many online resources offer lawyers and law firms listings according to their location and specialty. Examples include NOLO, lawyers.com, Avvo, and LegalZoom. Although appearing in these directories does not imply endorsing a lawyer’s legal abilities, some resources include peer reviews and client reviews.
- Your state bar association. These groups can help you find a local bankruptcy lawyer.
Working with a bankruptcy attorney is beneficial
Bankruptcy may be the best option to resolve your financial problems if you are in serious financial trouble. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will help you determine whether another option is better for you.
Ashley Morgan, a Northern Virginia bankruptcy attorney, says that bankruptcy should not be your last option.
A lawyer can help you assess your financial situation to determine whether other debt-relief alternatives might be in your best interest. And if bankruptcy is your best route, a lawyer can tell you whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
An attorney can help you navigate the bankruptcy process if you decide to proceed with it.
An attorney can assist with the following during the process:
- Advice about the best time to file for bankruptcy so you don’t get in a worse financial position than you were before you filed.
- Guide assets. File Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Certain assets are exempted from the proceedings. This means that you can keep them. Your lawyer must understand which exemptions are available? They will help you avoid losing assets unnecessarily.
- Help complete paperwork. This is required to file your bankruptcy petition.
- Represent you At the meeting of creditors.
The bankruptcy lawyer will help you navigate through what can be a complex process for the uninitiated.
Morgan states, “You have someone to advocate for you who will make sure that you are treated well at the end.”
What to look out for in a bankruptcy lawyer
It is important to hire a bankruptcy lawyer who has experience in this area of law. This may seem obvious, but an attorney’s knowledge base can make a significant difference in your case.
Morgan says it is important to work with an attorney who regularly practices in the area where you are filing. A lawyer who is not familiar with specific bankruptcy court details may not be able to help you. Morgan suggests looking for someone who files at least two to five cases per month in that area.
However, knowing the law doesn’t suffice.
Morgan says, “I tell all my clients that I want them to feel very comfortable with their bankruptcy attorney.” Morgan says, “You must be able to communicate freely.”
She says that a lack of transparency could lead to problems in the bankruptcy process.
Five questions to ask candidates when they are being vetted
Many bankruptcy lawyers offer free consultations. It makes sense to take advantage of this opportunity to find a lawyer that you feel comfortable with.
You must be prepared for these meetings. This list contains some questions that you might want to ask to evaluate an attorney.
- Are you a bankruptcy specialist? Bankruptcy laws can be complicated. You must work with an attorney who understands the law and how it might affect you. Avoid working with an attorney without bankruptcy experience.
- How many bankruptcy cases are you filing each year? Morgan recommends working with a lawyer that files two to five cases per month or 50 per annum.
- Who will handle my case? Morgan does not recommend that a paralegal is your main point of contact. There is so much at stake. It’s important that your lawyer meets with you right away and understands your financial situation. You may consider finding another person to help you if you don’t plan to meet with your lawyer until the meeting with creditors.
- How do you structure your fees? Although many bankruptcy lawyers are open to working with clients to establish payment plans, full payment may be required before filing.
- What is included in your fee? Attorney fees generally cover:
- How to determine if you are eligible for bankruptcy
- Reviewing and putting together your bankruptcy petition
- Represent you at the meeting
- How to file the required documents
Ask about any additional fees or exclusions to the fee. For example, Morgan works with clients to clear up post-bankruptcy problems with their credit reports.
What will it cost to do all this?
The type of bankruptcy that you file, the location of your attorney, and your financial situation will all impact the fees. You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $2,500-$6,000 for Chapter 13.
Many lawyers understand that clients are in difficult financial situations and will work with them to create payment plans. Chapter 7 filings will require payment before you can file. You may be eligible to pay a portion of the filing fee before filing and the rest during the repayment period if you are filing Chapter 13.
There are alternatives if you don’t have the funds to pay for an attorney. Legal aid offices provide free legal advice to low-income clients and may represent you for free if you qualify. Many lawyers spend a lot of time helping people who cannot afford them. It may be worthwhile to look for one who will represent you pro bono.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, there are many options for finding an attorney. It’s a good idea to get a referral from someone you trust and know. You might also consider other resources such as legal aid, professional associations, or your local bar association.
Whatever method you use to find a bankruptcy attorney, make sure you do your research and ensure that you are comfortable working with them.
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