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Knowing When You Need A Bankruptcy Attorney

Aug 17, 2007
A bankruptcy attorney may be necessary if you have a great deal of debt, assets and other complicated issues in your life. For example, because there is a great deal of documentation required that could be confusing for anyone, a bankruptcy attorney can help you in this area. They will have extensive knowledge in all the laws, rules, regulations, options and rights that pertain to your specific case.

Bankruptcy is not a simple procedure. It is extremely complicated and having an attorney on your side can help to make everything run smoothly and efficiently.

What Steps Will a Bankruptcy Attorney Take?

First: The bankruptcy attorney will talk to you about your situation, finances, assets and debts. This is to determine whether bankruptcy truly is the right option for you. This is also done to establish what the bankruptcy attorney needs to do in order to help your bankruptcy case.

Second: He or she will determine which of your debts might or might not be discharged. If you have any property that cannot be protected by going through some pre-bankruptcy planning such as protection of certain assets, listing items you may have tried to "hide" or filing a homestead exemption.

Third: They will prepare and file the bankruptcy petition along with any needed documentation along with it.

Fourth: They will attend the meeting of creditors with you to ensure that the creditors are practicing legal and fair negotiations.

Fifth: They will take care of any necessary matters that are needed to protect you fully and legally prior to the final discharge. This may include any liens that are on your home, any claims of fraud by a creditor or amending any schedules due to omissions or errors.

How Much Will a Bankruptcy Attorney Charge?

The fee for your bankruptcy attorney will vary depending upon how complicated your particular case is and what it involves. Across the United States, the fee for filing bankruptcy with the courts is generally around $200 for a chapter 7 filing and $190 for a chapter 13. One thing you should know is that a judge in bankruptcy court must approve any attorney fee. The typical costs of attorney fees start at around $500 and up.

How Can I Find a Good Bankruptcy Attorney?

It is important that you find a bankruptcy attorney that is both experienced and reputable. There are some things you should look for to determine if the attorney has both qualities listed above. First consider how to find the bankruptcy attorney. You could look them up in the yellow pages, ask other attorneys or friends and family members for recommendations.

Another important suggestion is to talk to many different attorneys. Do not simply pick the first one you interview. Make appointments with several and ask questions such as:

* How long they have been practicing
* If bankruptcy is their specialty
* Testimonies or References from other clients (if this is a possibility)
* If they will be the one you deal with or if they have paralegals or other aides you will have deal with
* How much they charge
* When they will bill you

The most important thing is to find a bankruptcy attorney that clicks well with your own personality. You will also want an attorney that is hands on and deals with you directly. Furthermore, get everything in writing, when you do finally decide on a bankruptcy attorney.
About the Author
Jon Arnold is an author and computer engineer who maintains various web sites to provide tips and information on a variety of topics. More info on this topic can be found at his Bankruptcy site at http://bankruptcy-data.com
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