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Bankruptcy Questions to Ask

You must know the most common questions if filing for bankruptcy. Hire a professional to know what to ask a lawyer.
Rahul Thadani Jan 25, 2019
Filing for bankruptcy is a task that not many individuals foresee and plan for, and it is something that one cannot be completely prepared for. There are many questions to ask before filing for it, which can aid an individual during the process and help him to avoid many unwanted complications.
First, an individual must be clear whether he wants to opt for document filing service or an attorney. An attorney will cost about five times of a document filing service, but it will provide the individual with in-depth advice and personal attention. This is a better alternative than document filing service, and is highly recommended.
When you go for your first meeting with an attorney, you must be fully aware regarding what questions you should ask him. Being unaware can result in him charging you a higher fee as he will take more time to understand your case, and all attorneys charge on the basis of time.
There are many details that the lawyer will wish to know about you on a professional, as well as on a personal level. You will be required to file a detailed schedule of all your assets and debts with a bankruptcy court, so your attorney will most certainly want to look at those details before your hearing.
Also, you must be completely open about all your financial affairs and should not refrain from disclosing any information. If this is not the case, you may be accused of fraud, and this would severely hamper your chances of discharging your debts. Here are some common questions, the knowledge of which will ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Is Bankruptcy a Suitable Option For You?

The answer to this should help you to decide what course of action you must take. A good attorney should be more than willing to provide you a list of the options available and suggest suitable recommendations. Find out if you should file for it after all, or whether you should refrain from doing so and opt for some other alternative.

How Will It Benefit You?

You must be clear of how you stand to benefit from filing for it. Filing for Chapter 7 will carry benefits that will greatly differ from those of Chapter 13. You should clearly understand the path you take and how you stand to gain from doing so. Along with being aware of the benefits, also ensure that you know the repercussions and negative effects.

What Are The Attorney's Credentials?

To leave a matter as important and as critical as filing for bankruptcy in the hands of a novice or an incompetent attorney can bring nothing but further trouble for you. Before you venture into more, inquire from him regarding how much of his practice is devoted to filing such cases and how much he will charge you.

What Is Your Income?

Many states have now begun to enforce tough laws, and earning a large income can prove an obstacle to discharge your debts. Even if you have a spouse earning an income equivalent to or greater than the state average, you may not be eligible for filing for it. When consulting an attorney, you must inquire about the average income applicable for your state.

Do You Own a Home?

Owning a real estate property that is valuable can also hinder your filing procedure considerably. If it is found that the valuation of your home is high, you may be forced to sell your property, or convert to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan. Clear this out with the attorney so that you can choose a suitable course of action.

Do You Own a Car?

Individuals are permitted to keep possession of their automobiles when they are filing for Chapter 7. The lender of the loan to acquire this automobile is duly notified of this reaffirming of the debt. The lender is also informed, but he does not claim the collateral.

Do You Owe Any Taxes?

If there are any taxes that are currently owed by you, you must immediately contact the IRS and request a statement. A competent attorney will tell you which of these taxes can be discharged by the bankruptcy process. Also note that any Government student loans shall not be included in Chapter 7. These loans will compulsorily have to be repaid separately.

Is Your Credit Card History Important?

You need to get details from your attorney regarding credit card frauds. Many individuals purchase a large number of assets on their credit cards, and then file for bankruptcy to clear out all those debts. This is an illegal activity, and an experienced judge will quickly recognize such an occurrence of fraud by viewing your records.

Will You Get Credit Again?

Filing for it does not mean that you cannot avail credit anymore. But, it certainly means that lenders will be more hesitant to extend credit to you in the future. It will be immensely beneficial if you adopt some means of credit repair, in order to rebuild your credit worthiness.
These are a few basic questions to ask an attorney. Filing for bankruptcy is a very tedious activity, and it can be very taxing mentally as well, but there are many others who have undergone it and emerged from it successfully and have rebuilt their credit portfolios.
In order for you to attain the same, these questions will prove to be a great help. Do not be disheartened by the complexity of the task, and clear out all your doubts and ambiguities with your attorney.