Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Encino
Top 3 Questions
Do I have to have a lawyer to file for Bankruptcy?
There is no requirement that you have a Bankruptcy lawyer. Depending on the situation and the details involved, some people may be able to avoid hiring a bankruptcy attorney and file themselves. However, this is generally limited to very simple Chapter 7 (debt liquidation) cases. For more complicated Chapter 7 cases, or for Chapter 13 (debt reorganization) cases, it is advisable to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to make sure that bankruptcy is actually the best plan for you, and if so, to hire an attorney so that your case is done properly and that you receive a discharge while protecting your assets.
Bankruptcy is a complex system of laws, rules and regulations that even some seasoned attorneys' struggle with at times. Even in simple cases, there are many rules and requirements that must be followed in order to efficiently and properly move your case forward. Bankruptcy is more than simply filing some documents with the court. It is imperative that proper communication is maintained with the Trustee according to the Bankruptcy rules and local rules in your jurisdiction.
In addition to properly filing the required documents with the Court and with the Trustee assigned to your case, it is also imperative that an analysis is done on your case to determine which chapter in bankruptcy is right for you. For consumers, there are typically two choices, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. It is important that the proper chapter is chosen given your situation. For example, a homeowner who is behind on their mortgage and experiencing difficulties in paying their credit card bills will not want to file a Chapter 7 as it would not protect their home. In that situation, a Chapter 13 would be more appropriate. Chapter 13 bankruptcies have a high percentage of cases being dismissed when the debtors represent themselves. In fact, the dismissal rate is above 90%. Therefore, in this situation, it is wise to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney in San Fernando Valley.
How can I find the right Encino bankruptcy lawyer for me?
When hiring any professional, you need to interview as many attorneys as you feel comfortable with before deciding on the right one for you. Trust your gut. It is critical that you hire an attorney with whom you feel comfortable, who is knowledgeable of the law, and will be able to help you in your difficult financial struggle.
When interviewing a bankruptcy attorney, a good indicator that the particular attorney is right for you will be in how they communicate with you. They will listen to your situation carefully and ask you many questions to help them determine your situation and your goals. A good bankruptcy attorney will explain the bankruptcy process to you; help you understand it, and present options to help you achieve your financial goals.
Another good indicator that you have contacted a good bankruptcy attorney is that you actually meet with the attorney. Too often bankruptcy firms will have your first contact be with a paralegal or a legal assistant. Often times, the attorney will rarely, if ever, speak to you. If this is the case, this may not be the attorney you want to hire. You want to speak to a bankruptcy attorney who will take the time to listen to you personally, explain everything to you, and help you through the process.
Your attorney will play an important role in your financial future, choose them wisely.
What makes one bankruptcy lawyer better than another?
There are many attorneys to choose from. Don't simply rely on a lawyer's certificate of specialization or their advertising. Ultimately, what most people are looking for when hiring an attorney is to get through a difficult financial time in their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible. What makes one bankruptcy attorney better than another is their ability to:
- Effectively communicate with you and answer your questions,
- Create a workable plan you understand;
- Effectively represent you,
- Protect your assets,
- Help you obtain your financial goals and your 'fresh start'
Use the above guideline when interviewing lawyers you are thinking of hiring.
If they cannot answer your questions, explain things to you, or make you feel at ease, they may not be the right attorney for you.
Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can help a person eliminate debts and obtain a fresh start. However, if not handled properly, that powerful tool can quickly turn against you. Trustees have an obligation to administer an estate for the benefit of creditors. If your case is not handled properly, you may run the risk of losing valuable assets that would otherwise be protected.
Often times when people are facing financial struggles and contemplating filing for a bankruptcy, the stress of that decision alone can be daunting. Adding to that stress the difficult task of filing for a bankruptcy by yourself can push some people over their limits. That is why hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney is a good idea. They can help you analyze your case depending on your situation, protect your assets, and help you obtain your discharge and your 'fresh start.'
Call and speak to one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers today. The lawyers at Nader & Berneman are experts in:
- Assessing your situation,
- Educating you about your rights, obligations, and options,
- Helping you create a plan to achieve your financial goals and obtain your bankruptcy discharge,
- Helping you through a difficult financial time with the best possible result.