When considering bankruptcy, an Elk Grove bankruptcy lawyer is an absolute necessity, while it can be difficult to know exactly which attorney you need to hire, we’ve come up with some important questions that can help you evaluate the counsel you are considering. Typically all bankruptcy lawyers will offer a free consultation in which you will meet them at their office, sit down, and discuss your financial situation. While you want to give them as much information as you can in order to see if it makes sense to file bankruptcy, keep in mind that this is a person you are hiring to do a job for you, and so the following questions will help you feel confident that the attorney that you do hire is a competent one who can assist you with your debt problems.

Is bankruptcy for me?

Whether you should file bankruptcy is perhaps the first and easiest question you can ask. A qualified lawyer will assess your liabilities and assets, explain your options to you, and help you get an overall picture before moving forward. They will help you review all of your debt relief options, even those outside of the bankruptcy process. Sometime, bankruptcy isn’t the best option, and an honest attorney will let you know and guide you in the right direction.

What are the pros and cons of me filing bankruptcy?

Your attorney should give you a clear picture of the benefits and negative effects of filing for bankruptcy. Since each person's bankruptcy case is tailored to their unique financial situation the benefits and risks are not the same for everyone. Be sure to ask follow up questions if you are unsure of exactly how filing bankruptcy will affect your situation and financial future.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7?

Out of the two types of consumer bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13), Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common. However, thanks to new bankruptcy laws passed by congress in 2005, it’s also more difficult to qualify for than it used to be. Ask your lawyer if you will qualify based on the means test for your state based on your income and household size.  If you do qualify, ask your lawyer about how the exemption laws could protect your property and assets in your Chapter 7 case.

What are your attorney’s fees and what is included?

This will give you an idea of what your fees will be, which for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is between $1700 and $2500 for most cases. This little quest will also offer insight on potential hidden fees, if your bankruptcy case takes an unexpected turn or unforeseen circumstances surrounding your case emerge.

These are just a few, but very important questions to ask a bankruptcy attorney when you meet with them for your initial consultation. They should lead to a constructive dialog that will help you stay informed of your best decisions regarding your future.