What to Do After Deciding You’re in Need of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

What to Do After Deciding You’re in Need of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy filings have, unfortunately, been on the rise lately with 416,607 non-business bankruptcy filings in the US between September 2022 and September 2023. If you are also considering bankruptcy, your best first step is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who knows the federal Bankruptcy Code as well as the relevant state laws that determine what property you get to keep in a bankruptcy (exempt assets) and what property is at risk or requires you to make a contribution to your creditors (non-exempt assets).  Your lawyer should also know the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Local Rules Bankruptcy Court in which your case will be filed.  Only such an experienced attorney with a competent and caring staff will be able to offer you the advice and support you need to successfully navigate the bankruptcy process.

This article will take a look at some steps you should take after deciding it’s time to hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Keep reading to find out more.

What to Do After Deciding You’re in Need of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Call the Office

Was your call answered by a friendly person who took the time to listen to you and identify the reason for your call?  Did that person offer to help you schedule a free consultation and/or take preliminary information from you to begin analyzing your situation in advance of your first meeting with the lawyer?  Were you offered a meeting with a lawyer or were you expected to meet with a paralegal or other non-lawyer support staff?  These first impressions usually reveal how you will be treated throughout your time with the attorney’s office.  If you are comfortable being “just another client,” you may not mind the impersonal experience you may get with a high-volume law office that files hundreds of bankruptcies a month.  However, if you want to know that every person in your attorney’s office will know who you are, a smaller, boutique law firm will be a better choice for you.


Schedule a Free Consultation

The best way to decide whether a law office is a good fit for you is to schedule a consultation with them.  This way, you will be able to evaluate how thorough they were in taking information from you, whether your consultation was with a lawyer or a non-lawyer, how well the lawyer analyzed the information you provided, explained to you the bankruptcy process, and answered all your questions.  If you never met a lawyer at your consultation, chances are you will never meet one throughout your entire bankruptcy with that firm, and you are better off looking elsewhere for proper representation.


Discuss the Fees and Costs

Be cautious when comparing quotes for legal services.  If an offer looks significantly lower than average, you might not be getting accurate information.  For example, Chapter 13s are more expensive than Chapter 7s.  If you are being told that the total fees for a Chapter 13 are the same as a Chapter 7, something is wrong.  Either they are not disclosing to you all the fees for a Chapter 13 (both the “up-front” fees and the fees to be paid “through the plan”) or you are being overcharged for the Chapter 7.  An honest lawyer will be fully transparent, clearly explain how the fees are to be determined in your case, and provide you a copy of the fee agreement in advance of signing to show that the fees quoted to you are the fees provided for by the written fee agreement.


Choose the Best Bankruptcy Lawyer in Miami, FL

After reading this quick guide, we hope you learned what steps to take after you’ve decided to hire a bankruptcy lawyer in Miami, FL.  Remember, the office should be friendly and helpful, the consultation should be with an experienced bankruptcy attorney (not a non-attorney paralegal), your specific facts and circumstances should be analyzed, the bankruptcy process should be explained to you, and all your questions should be answered.

The team at Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, PA, is one of the best for bankruptcy filings.  Mr. Schwitalla has over 32 years of experience handling bankruptcies like yours, with staff members who have been with him for over 13 and 15 years.  You can rest assured that our team will provide you all the support you need to successfully resolve your financial problems.

So, contact us now, so we can begin helping you today!

About Us

Miami Bankruptcy serves clients throughout the Miami and Miami-Dade County area, South Florida and the Florida Keys, including Kendall, Westchester, Sweetwater, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, Florida City, Cutler Ridge, Richmond Heights, Key Largo, Marathon, Islamorada, Big Pine Key, Key West, Tavernier and Plantation.

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