Your Bankruptcy Attorney – Guiding You Through the Process

If you are in deep financial trouble and are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then you should hire a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney that can guide you through the entire process.

Here is what your bankruptcy attorney will do once you have contacted them.

Your Attorney Will Ask For All the Relevant Papers

You will first need to go for mandatory credit counseling six months prior to filing for bankruptcy.

The proof of that counseling, along with other financial papers (such as a list of all your debts, expenses, income and assets), will have to be provided to your bankruptcy attorney before they can proceed.

They will study your documentation and then advise you on the best way out of your financial predicament.

Your Bankruptcy Attorney Will Then Decide On the Relevant Chapter

Based on your financial records, your bankruptcy attorney will come to a conclusion as to which chapter is more suitable for your situation.

If you have exhausted your sources of income, then you might be advised to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. If you have a reduced source of income and would also like to save most of your assets, then your attorney might advise you to file under chapter 13.

If you own a business and you want to continue running it, then you could file for bankruptcy under chapter 11.

Your Attorney Can Help You with the ‘Means Test’

If you are filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your bankruptcy attorney can help you calculate your gross and net income for the previous six months. That income will be compared to the average median income of a similar-sized family in your town.

If you do qualify to file under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your attorney will coordinate with a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court in disposing your assets in order to pay off your creditors.

If your income exceeds “means test” guidelines for qualifying filing a Chapter 7, then your attorney will now have to shift their attention to filing for bankruptcy under chapter 13, which requires a new repayment schedule.

This schedule will help you clear your old debts over a period of 3 to 5 years.

Your Bankruptcy Attorney Can Draw Up a New Schedule for the Court

If you need to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, then your attorney can draw up a new repayment schedule and get it approved by the court after arranging a meeting with your creditors.

Once the repayment plan is approved, then you will need to start your payments according to that schedule.

Your Attorney Can Help You Avoid the Pitfalls

Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated affair – and you will probably be too worried to be thinking straight.

An efficient bankruptcy attorney can calm you down and point out the pitfalls and advantages of filing for bankruptcy under different chapters after analyzing your case.

Hiring an attorney can save you a lot of time and effort. They will do the legwork involved to close your case at the earliest possible time.

An experienced, knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is a vital asset to have on your side when you are facing financial difficulties and thinking of filing for bankruptcy.

What to Look For in a Bankruptcy Attorney and How to Find One

Nobody wants to think about bankruptcy, but in these economic times, it may be a necessity for many. Although it may be painful to have to file for bankruptcy, but choosing the wrong attorney can make it even worse. The following are some tips on what to look and what to avoid when choosing a bankruptcy attorney.

Stay Away from Storefront Operations

If bankruptcy is imminent, then time is of the essence. Avoid the fly by night operations that advertise bankruptcy services at ridiculously low prices. Not only are these places likely to mishandle a bankruptcy, but added fees and services will make it much more costly than originally advertised. Look for a legitimate attorney that has years of experience in the field. It will be more expensive, but the bankruptcy will be properly filed and handled, which will save money, not to mention headaches in the long run.

Licensing

As with choosing a doctor, a good bankruptcy attorney should be licensed by the state bar. If they are not, then they are not authorized to practice law in that state. The state bar can provide licensing information, as well as any disciplinary action regarding an attorney.

Check with Agencies

There are agencies and organizations that have either worked with bankruptcy attorneys, or have knowledge of their experience. The American Bankruptcy Institute is a good place to start. The ABI is an organization the even Congress taps for their expertise. They may have information, or even members that are available for bankruptcy proceedings. Members of the ABI have had to meet additional standards beyond what the average bankruptcy attorney has met.

Legal Aid

Local legal aid organizations may be able to assist in finding a good attorney as well. In all likelihood they have worked with bankruptcy attorneys in the past and may be able to recommend someone suitable for a particular case.

Visit Different Attorneys

Many attorneys offer free or low-cost initial consultations. This is an opportunity to talk to the prospective attorney and assess if they are the right one for the job. Have a list of questions ready to ask the prospective attorney. Here are a few standard questions for any bankruptcy attorney. These certainly are not the only questions a bankruptcy attorney should be asked, they are a good starting point.

1. How many bankruptcies do you handle in a year? Will you have ample time for my case?
2. Will I be working with the attorney or an office paralegal most of the time? How much access will I have?
3. What is the process exactly?
4. How long will the process take?

Most attorneys will be happy to answer these questions. Those that will not, or give evasive answers are most likely too busy or inexperienced, and another attorney should be interviewed.

Bankruptcy is an unpleasant experience, but a good attorney can help mitigate some of the pain. Remember, many bankruptcies are little more than a restructuring, so it is not necessarily the end of the world. A poor attorney can make it seem that way though. Do the research, find a good attorney, and stay on top of the proceedings. Even the best attorneys can miss something, such as leaving out a particular creditor, so stay involved and request updates frequently. Working interactively with a good attorney will make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Hiring A Bankruptcy Attorney To File Under Illinois Bankruptcy Laws

Filing liquidation under the Illinois bankruptcy laws is not an easy thing to do in a sense that you need to be aware of the complicated set of specific laws related to impoverishment that is applicable only in the state. This is because of the complications involved in the various bankruptcy laws in Illinois that we always suggest debtors to hire a highly qualified and experienced attorney to handle your liquidation case. When it comes to filing bankruptcy under the state laws, there are several things that you need to take into your careful consideration.

License Of The Bankruptcy Attorney

The first thing that you have to make sure is that the attorney has a valid license to handle impoverishment cases in the state. Some people have the misconception that all the bankruptcy lawyers are authorized to handle cases in all the states, which is not true. The attorney gets the license to handle such cases in a specific state only. In some places, where the boundaries of the states meet, the attorney may get the license to handle liquidation cases in more than one state. So, it is prudent to check all these things before hiring the attorney.

Attorney Fee

The bankruptcy attorney will charge you a fee, which is usually a substantial amount. Therefore, while choosing the right attorney to file insolvency on your behalf under the state laws, the first of the few things that you must ask the attorney is the amount they will charge. You must try to get into the details because sometimes, there are hidden charges that you come to know only when it is too late.

Interview The Attorney

You are planning to hire a liquidation attorney because you want someone that could defend your claim successfully in the courts. Therefore, do not hesitate in asking questions. It is important to ensure that the attorney you have chosen is the best one for your case. The attorney must be able to make things easier for you, keeping in mind that the Illinois bankruptcy laws are complicated ones and it is not possible for a common person to be aware of everything. The attorneys are the specialized persons and they know how to use the various clauses of the bankruptcy code in favor of the debtor. If you are filing bankruptcy under state liquidation laws, you will require filing out a number of free forms. You have to be very careful while filing out these forms because if the court finds some manipulation with the facts, you may end up paying out some penalties. Your attorney must help you in filing out these forms.