Many questions arise when you’re considering filing for bankruptcy. However, when you meet with your potential bankruptcy attorney, you may find it hard to remember them all or carve the list down to the most important ones.
To help you find the most experienced and effective bankruptcy attorney, we’ve created a list of 5 must-ask questions to use during your consultation.
What is Your Experience in Bankruptcy Law?
It’s critical to hire a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy law. While you might find an attorney in your area who takes on bankruptcy cases, that does not necessarily mean he or she is an expert in bankruptcy.
To determine your attorney’s level of experience, be sure to ask how long he or she has been practicing bankruptcy law and which areas of law his or her firm specializes in during your initial consultation. You can also ask how many cases he or she typically handles per month.
Because filing for bankruptcy will have a big effect on your life for years to come, you certainly want to select an attorney who knows this area of law well.
Have You Ever Worked With a Bankruptcy Case Like Mine?
Not all bankruptcy cases are the same. In fact, each bankruptcy case is as individual as the party (or parties) involved. You definitely want a law firm who has worked with cases like yours.
While the attorney shouldn’t share client specifics with you, he or she should be able to demonstrate their understanding and experience in cases like your own.
How Much Are the Fees and What Is Included?
Ask about fees from the beginning to avoid surprises. Ask for details about what is included (and not included) in your attorney fees.
Always ask for and make sure you receive a written agreement about fees and payment for your case.
How Involved With My Case Will You Be?
Unfortunately, bankruptcy mills do exist; they take on a high volume of cases and fail to offer clients the personalized attention they need. These mills often allow unlicensed individuals to work on your case. You definitely don’t want anyone other than an attorney or supervised paralegal preparing your casework.
Ask who will be in charge of your case and accompany you to court. An experienced and trustworthy bankruptcy attorney will pay close attention to your paperwork, working on the case themselves or using well-trained staff to assist them.
Make sure the attorney says he or she will be accompanying you to court. In some cases, another member of the firm may assist you in court but whoever it is should be a licensed bankruptcy attorney.
What Should I Expect From This Process?
No good attorney will guarantee you success. There are too many outside factors which may come into play. However, your attorney should be able to assess your case and identify any potential risks. It’s best that you’re aware of these risks from the beginning and prepared if they do arise.
Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney to break down the steps of the process for you. You should also discuss which type of bankruptcy you should file (or if you should file at all). Asking these questions will allow you to gauge the attorney’s level of experience and better understand his or her communication style.
At Tyler, Bartl & Ramsdell, P.L.C., we welcome your questions and are ready to guide you through the bankruptcy process. Our firm specializes in all forms of bankruptcy cases and proceedings, having been in business since 1986. To reach the most favorable outcome for your case, get started today. Call us at call at (703) 549-5001 to schedule a free consultation.