What Questions Should I Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

When you are considering filing for personal bankruptcy, it is extremely important to find an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can represent you from start to finish in your bankruptcy case. Consumer bankruptcy law in the U.S. is extremely complicated, and it can be difficult for individuals to handle many aspects of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing on their own. Yet it is also important to work with a bankruptcy lawyer who has experience in the field, and who can ensure that your bankruptcy case is handled properly. Before you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, you should schedule a consultation to ask questions and to learn more about the attorney.

When you do meet with a bankruptcy lawyer for a consultation, you should consider asking some of the following questions, which can provide you with essential information about the lawyer’s practice and the specifics of your own bankruptcy case.

How Long Have You Been Handling Bankruptcy Cases in Illinois?

You should ask any prospective bankruptcy lawyer about the amount of time they have been handling bankruptcy cases, and how long they have been representing clients in Illinois specifically. Similarly, what percentage of their work involves bankruptcy cases? It will also be important to find out about the attorney’s overall practice and whether they focus on bankruptcy cases, or whether bankruptcy is just one of many different types of legal issues the attorney handles. You will want to find a lawyer with significant experience representing clients in consumer bankruptcy cases.

Do You Have Client Testimonials I Can Read?

Does the attorney have client testimonials you can read, or information about previous cases handled so that you can get a sense of the practice?

Which Type of Bankruptcy Am I Eligible to File?

After examining your case, a bankruptcy lawyer should be able to give you a good idea about the types of bankruptcy that you may be eligible for, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Are My Debts Dischargeable?

A bankruptcy lawyer should be able to analyze your debts that you are hoping to manage through a consumer bankruptcy filing and provide you with clear information about whether your debts are dischargeable. If the majority of your debt is made up of non-dischargeable debt, bankruptcy likely is not the best option for you.

Which of My Assets are Exempt?

When you meet with an attorney, you should find out more about which of your assets are exempt (or likely to be exempt) in a bankruptcy filing. Understanding which assets you will be able to retain can help you to make a decision about moving forward with a consumer bankruptcy case.

How Much Will My Case Cost?

Your lawyer should be up front and honest with you about costs, including the filing costs and any administrative fees that are streamlined for consumer bankruptcy cases, as well as the likely costs of attorney’s fees.

How Will I Communicate With You?

It will be important to learn more about how you will communicate with your lawyer during your bankruptcy case. If you prefer a phone call, can you call and speak with your lawyer? Or, if you prefer electronic communication, is it possible to correspond via email or text with your attorney?

Contact an Oak Park Bankruptcy Attorney for More Information

If you have questions about consumer bankruptcy or need assistance with your case, one of our Oak Park bankruptcy lawyers can speak with you today. We have been representing consumers for years and are here to help you with a wide range of consumer protection and bankruptcy law matters. Contact the Emerson Law Firm for more information.

See Related Blog Posts:

Should Consumer and Commercial Trustees be Distinct in Chapter 7 Cases?

What are My Options if I am Unable to Make My Chapter 13 Payments?


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