Are You Considering Bankruptcy?
If you’re overwhelmed with debt and are looking for legal solutions to solve your financial crisis then bankruptcy may be a great option for you. A skilled Phenix City bankruptcy lawyer can help determine whether bankruptcy can help eliminate your debt, and get you back on your feet.
Different Types of Bankruptcy Available
Did you know there are various types of bankruptcy that each serve a different purpose and require a different skillset? A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is one type a bankruptcy attorney may decide is the best way for you to liquidate your assets to pay off creditors. This is especially true if you currently have no income.
On the other hand, a Bankruptcy law firm may select a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as a way for you to keep control of your belongings while paying back your creditors over time.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows people to get out from under debts that are causing serious financial harm. Through the bankruptcy process, you may be able to get rid of debts like medical bills, credit card bills, and other unsecured debts. Factors such as your income and whether you have assets that you can sell to pay off some of the debts are taken into account when filing for bankruptcy and will determine what happens.
What happens when I file for bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, you will be under a federal bankruptcy court’s supervision and protection. During this time, you, your lawyer, the court, and your creditors will work on a plan for discharging your eligible debts. Collectors will also be unable to repossess property and garnish your wages or bank accounts during this time.
How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
There is no easy answer to this question. The ultimate cost will be a mix of court filing fees and what you owe your attorney for guiding you through the process. What you owe will depend on how complicated your case is and whether there are any prolonged disputes with creditors. Most likely, however, the debt relief that comes with bankruptcy will outweigh any fees.
How long does bankruptcy stay on your credit report?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 will remain for up to seven years. A bankruptcy filing will also harm your credit score. However, if you need to file for bankruptcy, it’s likely your score is not that high anyway, and your bankruptcy will give you a chance at a fresh start and time to rebuild your credit score.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
What to Expect from an Initial Consultation
- Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
- It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
- Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
Types of legal fees:
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
Common legal terms explained
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.