If you're looking for guidance on whether you should file for bankruptcy, it may be challenging to know where to start. Odds are, you don't know what you don't know, and that's why we're here to help. Keep reading for some important questions to ask a bankruptcy attorney at your consultation.
Question #1: Should I File for Bankruptcy?
Arguably the most crucial question you should be asking is if bankruptcy is the right debt relief solution for you. Bankruptcy isn't suitable for everyone and depending on the kind of bankruptcy you file, it can take a lot of time and effort to follow through. Your finances are personal, so it makes sense that your debt relief should fit your needs. Bankruptcy attorneys can talk you through your situation and help you understand whether filing is right for you.
Question #2: Are There Bankruptcy Alternatives?
As mentioned above, bankruptcy isn't for everyone; it also isn't the only option out there. An attorney can give you a bird’s eye view of all the options available and help you choose a solution, whether it's bankruptcy or an alternative.
Question #3: What Type of Bankruptcy Should I File?
Bankruptcy comes in all shapes and sizes, but the most common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The type of bankruptcy you file is based on several factors, including whether you can afford to reorganize your debts over time or liquidate them now. Both chapters have their pros and cons, but they don't offer the same benefits or risks.
- Chapter 7, or "liquidation," involves selling nonexempt property to pay for your debt. You can probably keep your car, clothes, furnishings, and the tools of your trade, but you could lose many of your existing assets during the liquidation process. On the plus side, you can wipe out most debts quickly and move on.
- Chapter 13, or "reorganization," allows you to pay off your debt over an extended period of time – usually three or five years. You'll need to come up with a realistic reorganization plan. Chapter 13 is great for a lot of debtors, but there are strict limitations on who can file.
Always speak to a lawyer before you file for bankruptcy and ask them about Chapters 7 and 13. They'll give you the guidance you need to make the right choice.
Question #4: How Long Will Bankruptcy Take?
If you're in a rush to erase your debt, you might not be able or willing to file for debt relief options like Chapter 13, which takes years to complete. On the other hand, while you may want to erase your debt ASAP, you might not be able to, depending on your circumstances. The important thing to understand is that it takes time to get into debt, so it will take time to get out of it.
Question #5: Will There Be Complications?
Even the most straightforward cases can go sideways sometimes. There may be unforeseen complications or errors in your case that increase the time and cost it takes to settle your bankruptcy case. For better or worse, you might hit some bumps on the road to financial recovery. Many complications are avoidable with the help of an experienced legal professional. They can work with you to move your case forward despite any difficulties that may pop up along the way.
Bonus Question: Why Should I Choose Your Firm?
We recognize that there are many firms to choose from, but that's all the more reason to choose us. We don't have an army of lawyers and paralegals fighting over cases and forgetting yours in the meantime. Our firm has a collaborative environment where our team brings over 30 years of experience and ideas to the table.
Plus, we aren't limited to one type of case – we handle cases of all shapes and sizes. We work with our clients to create a personalized legal strategy based on decades of experience and cutting-edge technology. Whether you're figuring out your options or ready to file, Hare, Stamm, Harris & O'Connor, LLC has the skill you need.
Contact our attorneys today! We look forward to working with you.