Top 10 Questions to Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Before Hiring Them
When you decide to file for bankruptcy, finding the right bankruptcy lawyer near me will make all the difference. Most attorneys are willing to offer you a free consultation to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs. Here are some questions to ask your potential bankruptcy lawyer:
Do I have any non-exempt assets?
Each state will tell you which of your assets are exempt from your creditor. Your bankruptcy attorney should be very familiar with this topic.
What are my options for my non-exempt assets?
Your lawyer can advise you as to which of your assets are non-exempt and how to handle these assets. For instance, you may need to make an offer to the bankruptcy court or find a legal means by which you can liquidate them before filing.
Are there any preferential payment issues?
Preferential payment means that you pay one creditor instead of paying another. The court believes that if you have any money, you should divide it among all of your creditors. This prevents a lawsuit against the creditor who has been paid.
Did I possibly make any fraudulent transfers within the past two years?
You may have tried to avoid filing for bankruptcy by having a yard sale so that you have enough money to survive. This won’t pose a problem with the court unless you’ve sold the items at less than a fair market value or if you receive the funds after you’ve already filed your case. Anything that doesn’t meet these requirements is considered fraudulent.
Do I qualify for a Chapter 7?
Your attorney will review your income and pay stubs. If these circumstances change before you file your case, then this must be taken into consideration.
Why is Chapter 13 recommended?
Some of the typical reasons include:
- Saving your home from foreclosure
- Saving your car from repossession
- A prior Chapter 7
- Too much income
- Too many non-exempt assets
What is the estimated monthly payment plan for Chapter 13?
While you can’t reach an exact figure yet, it’s possible to get an estimate. This is an important question that you’ll want to make sure the bankruptcy lawyer near me answers for you.
Can you give examples of previous 707b objections you’ve handled?
This objection happens when the United States Trustee alleges you should file for a Chapter 13 instead. How a bankruptcy attorney answers this question will give you a good idea of who your lawyer is and how they operate.
If Chapter 13 is recommended, how long will it last?
The length of your case will depend on the passing of the Means Test (Form B22C). You don’t want to be locked into a plan that’s longer than necessary. It’s also important to get a good idea of how much money you’ll be required to pay throughout the course of your bankruptcy before you enter into your case. The amount you have to pay depends on how many creditors you have and the number of payments it’ll take to satisfy your case.
How much will your attorney charge you?
If you’re filing for a Chapter 7, you’ll be required to pay off your entire case in full before it is opened. It’s against the law for your attorney to collect any fees once your case has been filed on your behalf. Make sure you review the timing of the payments and of the filing so you’re fully aware of what you must do and what your attorney will do for you.