Looking for ways to alleviate financial troubles is by no means an easy task. You probably feel that you have exhausted all the possibilities, and there is only one viable option to resort to, which is filing bankruptcy. Naturally, going through this process with a lawyer is the best course of action. To help you get the most out of your consultation, first-class San Diego lawyer services have prepared pertinent pre-bankruptcy questions to ask your lawyer.

It is also critical to know how to hire the right bankruptcy attorney, how Chapter 7 works, and what to expect from Chapter 13 to be fully prepared for bankruptcy proceedings.

What to ask a bankruptcy lawyer before you file

What is your experience as a bankruptcy attorney?

You will need a competent professional to handle your bankruptcy case, so determining the expertise and the lawyer’s track record right off the bat is essential. Make sure that the lawyer has represented a sufficient number of clients with cases similar to yours, as this will eliminate any possibility of surprises in court. A suitable lawyer should not have less than 3 years of experience in this field.

What are the pros and cons of filing bankruptcy?

You need to become aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy. Your lawyer should be the person to tell you this and cue you in about how bankruptcy can write off your debt and help you start over, as well as whether or not you will lose some of your property.

What fees will be involved?

Apart from the usual filing fees, you should ask your lawyer how much they will charge you for the service. Moreover, check the cost of any additional fees that might crop up, such as administrative fees, or those that stem from the lawyer needing more time for the case.

When will I file and when will my case be settled?

The chances are that your lawyer has many other clients whose cases they’re working on, which may delay both the filing and the settlement of your case. On top of that, the time it takes courts to process cases varies. Still, do ask your lawyer about a rough estimate so you can organize yourself better.

Will you attend court with me?

Filing bankruptcy can get extremely stressful, and being on your own in the procedure can further aggravate this effect. Feel free to ask your lawyer if they will accompany you because it would be highly beneficial.

What will happen after my bankruptcy?

As mentioned earlier, depending on your choice between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, your bankruptcy will have a certain outcome. Due to the fact that post-bankruptcy periods can be just as challenging as those preceding it, you should definitely ask your lawyer whether there is some assistance available with managing your finances now that you are starting your life with a clean slate.

Should I file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

You should ask the lawyer you consult to recommend one of the two primary bankruptcies for individuals. To do this, you first need to provide your lawyer with your financial situation so that it can be evaluated. Based on your information, the lawyer will be able to tell which chapter will prove to be more favorable for you according to the following features:

  • Chapter 7: This is the most common bankruptcy type, and is also known as “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation bankruptcy.” If you file a Chapter 7, you will be deprived of some of your property in order to repay your debt. There is exempt property, which you will be allowed to keep (e.g. your house), but some of your other assets will be claimed and sold to pay back the creditors. A trustee will be assigned to oversee your case and will receive commission upon its settlement.
  • Chapter 13: This alternative enables you to hold on to your non-exempt property and reorganize your debt. The repayment of the debt will be split during a 3-5 year period. You will be eligible to apply for Chapter 13 provided you have a steady source of income and some disposable income for the repayment plan.

The leading San Diego lawyer services you can rely on

In today’s economy, there’s no telling how many obstacles there are that can prevent you from successfully managing your money. It is almost impossible to avoid them, and the crippling debt you’ve incurred may make you feel that there’s no way out. But nothing is that grim with the superior bankruptcy lawyers in San Diego by your side.

Once Chang & Diamond lawyers have set your finances in order, you will be able to afford all the things you crave. Weekend shopping at Fashion Valley Mall will again be a regular activity in your life.

Chang & Diamond will give you a fresh start. Contact us now!