5 Questions to Ask Your Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy is designed to help people who are in financial trouble. There are different types of bankruptcy available including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13. If you are considering filing a bankruptcy, below are five questions that you should be sure to ask your attorney.

1. What type of bankruptcy should I file?

There are separate requirements for each type of bankruptcy that are set out by the United States Bankruptcy Court. Each individual or family is required to take a means test. Depending on the result of that test, an attorney can advise you which type of bankruptcy would best suit your circumstances.

2. Can I keep my assets?

In each type of bankruptcy, there are federal exemptions that individuals and spouses can use to keep many of their assets. All states have the option to opt out of the dollar amounts in the federal exemption list and create their own. It is important to know what the exemptions are in your state.

Some of the federal exemptions include:

· Homestead: Up to $21,625 for real estate and burial plots.

· Personal Property: $3,450 for a vehicle; $1,450 for jewelry; and $11,525 for clothing, appliances, furnishings, household goods, animals, crops and musical instruments.

3. How will bankruptcy benefit me?

How a bankruptcy will benefit you depends on your individual situation. Ways that a bankruptcy can be of benefit include:

· A Chapter 13 can help save your home and restructure other debts.

· A Chapter 7 can discharge all or most of your debt. A discharge means that your debt that was included in the bankruptcy is gone and they can never try to collect it from you.

· Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 automatically stop collectors from attempting to collect a debt from you.

4. How much does it cost?

You should find out exactly what the attorney fee is and how it must be paid. A bankruptcy filing fee, charged by the Bankruptcy Court, will generally be included in the total amount due. For example, in a Chapter 7 the total fee is usually required before the bankruptcy is filed.

5. What is included in the attorney fee?

Every attorney charges a base fee for filing a bankruptcy and following it through to the end. This generally includes filing the bankruptcy, attending the court hearing with you and preparing the discharge paperwork. There are issues that occasionally come up in certain cases that the attorney will charge you an additional fee for. For example, a motion by one of your creditors challenging your right to discharge its particular debt, or filing a hardship discharge of a student loan may require additional fees. It is in your best interest to find out what your attorney’s representation includes and how much additional services will cost.

Bankruptcy laws are complex and are best handled by a bankruptcy attorney. The questions listed above will help you in your search for an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to advise you of your rights and options.

My name is Devin Brown. I am a copywriter for myfoibles.com and a father of two little girls. I love golfing and reading in my spare time.