You’ve decided to pursue filing for bankruptcy. A lot of relief lies just ahead. But first, you need a good bankruptcy attorney in your corner, fighting to help get you out of debt. How do you know who you can trust? Here are 5 questions to ask when hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Denver.
What Type of Bankruptcy Should I File For?
There are two main types of personal bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. By evaluating all of your debts and assets and getting a solid understanding of your financial situation, your attorney will be able to recommend one or the other to best suit your needs.
With Chapter 7, you will be facing turning over all of your unprotected, or non-exempt, assets to a court-appointed trustee who will sell them off to pay your creditors. This is usually best for those with a lot of unsecured debt (medical bills, credit cards, etc.) who don’t have a high-income level.
Many debtors who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 will opt for Chapter 13 instead, which allows the person several years to pay back a portion of what was owed on a more affordable payment plan.
By the end of your free case evaluation, a good lawyer should be able to determine which route is best for you.
Is Bankruptcy My Only Option? Are There Any Alternatives?
There are other options out there, and there are many people who don’t actually need to file for bankruptcy to resolve their financial hardships. Then others might not qualify for one, or either, form of personal bankruptcy. Perhaps Chapter 11 bankruptcy, most often used by small businesses, could be the right route in such an instance.
Your situation is unique to you. No two clients ever have identical circumstances. Depending on your debts and your income, as well as your goals and desired outcomes, bankruptcy may or may not be the best route for you, and your attorney may be able to point you in another direction that will better suit you.
How Much Will the Entire Bankruptcy Filing Cost Me?
An obvious question for those struggling with too much debt is, “how much is this going to cost me?” Be sure to find out if that price includes not only the attorney’s fees but the cost of filing and any associated court costs, too.
Have You Had Clients With Similar Cases to Mine?
You can get a feel for the level of experience in bankruptcy and with cases like yours by asking an attorney straight out. It’s also wise to ask how long they’ve been in practice, how many bankruptcy cases do they handle in a given month, or how many clients they’ve successfully helped navigate out of financial hardship. Don’t be shy – your financial future will be in the hands of whomever you select to be your attorney. You want to feel comfortable that you’ve made the right choice!
Will You Be By My Side in Court?
Having your attorney with you in court can make all the difference when meeting the judge for the first time and presenting your case. Find out whether your attorney will be there, side by side with you, or if it will be a lower-level associate, etc. No one can predict the future; unexpected circumstances can always arise, but being mentally prepared for court is easier when you know what to expect and who’s in your corner.
We welcome you to ask us these and any other questions during your free case evaluation with Berken Cloyes, PC. Serving the good people of Colorado for more than 35 years, our bankruptcy attorneys are ready to help you get out of this mess and into a debt-free future. Call us today to schedule your consultation.