Filing for bankruptcy is a very significant decision as, most often; you would resort to bankruptcy filing only when you have no other option available to settle your debts. Therefore, it is very important that the Lawyer who represents you for the bankruptcy case keeps your best interests in mind and is knowledgeable enough to win the case.
Check for attorneys who have considerable experience in handling bankruptcy cases and are knowledgeable and well-trained. Local bar associations will have referral panels of bankruptcy lawyers. Talk to more than one lawyer before you finalize on who will handle your case. While asking for interviews, ensure that you choose lawyers who do not charge fees for first time consultations. Ask them questions about the kind of services they perform, the fees that will be charged (ask for details to find out whether there are any hidden or incidental charges). Check for the credentials of the lawyers and ask for references of people who have utilized their services.
Finalize on a lawyer who you are comfortable working with. Ask him to explain the entire bankruptcy procedure in detail, taking you through all the steps. The bankruptcy process can stretch over a long period of time and it is important that you build a good working relationship with the lawyer so that the bankruptcy process can be made easy.
The lawyer should be able to analyze your financial situation and decide on whether you are actually required to file for bankruptcy or whether there are possible alternatives to settling your debt. The lawyer may have knowledge of little known laws that could help you out. Ensure that you provide complete information about your financial condition and answer any queries by the lawyer honestly. Once the decision to file for bankruptcy is taken, a contract should be drawn up in which the lawyer would clearly outline what services would be performed on your behalf, the fee structure and the various aspects of bankruptcy that they would be handling. Carefully read the representation agreement, the draft schedules, the court's notices and communications from your lawyer and ask for clarifications wherever necessary so that the filing can be made as less frustrating as possible.
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