Debt is something that the majority of Americans deal with at some point in their lives. However, there are times where debt can get out of control. Whether it's relying too much on credit cards, exorbitant medical costs, a divorce, or a failing business, there are plenty of situations where it may be difficult or impossible to pay down debt. In these cases, bankruptcy may be the right choice. However, bankruptcy is not one-size-fits-all. A bankruptcy attorney can help navigate the often complicated process of filing for bankruptcy. Here are three things to consider when hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
What many do not realize is that filing for bankruptcy does cost money. Simply filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs $335 while Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a $310 filing fee. Adding attorney fees on top of filing fees is not something that many want to do when filing for bankruptcy. For this reason, some decide to file for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney. However, the success rate of filing "pro se", or without an attorney, is far lower than the success rate with an attorney. The average cost of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with attorney fees is between $500 and $3,500 while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy costs between $2,500 and $6,000. While these prices may seem steep, the cost is likely worth it since the bankruptcy is more likely to be successful.
When filing for bankruptcy and using the services of an attorney, it's very important to consider whether or not the attorney is experienced in bankruptcy law. Bankruptcy law has gone through many changes in the previous decade. Anyone who is looking to file for bankruptcy should look for an attorney who has handled multiple bankruptcy cases in recent years. Attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy law are more likely to be successful. Potential bankruptcy filers should consider looking for attorneys who are members of organizations such as the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. This is a good indicator that they will be able to handle a bankruptcy case successfully.
Type Of Bankruptcy
Another thing to consider when hiring a bankruptcy attorney is the type of bankruptcy being filed. There will be some differences when it comes to filing Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the attorney will likely not file unless all fees are paid upfront. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the attorney fees can often be included in the repayment plan. An attorney can also help their client determine which type of bankruptcy is more suitable for their client.
Hiring a bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that a bankruptcy filing is successful. A couple things that should be considered are the attorney fees and bankruptcy filing fees. It's also important to choose an attorney who specializes in or is very experienced in filing for bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy being filed should also be considered carefully when choosing an attorney. Contact a professional like D Derk Demaree Attorney at Law to learn more.