What To Expect When You Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering how the process works. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which type of bankruptcy you should file, what your legal rights are, and how long the process will take. Having an attorney by your side will help you feel less overwhelmed and ensure that your rights are protected, and your bankruptcy handled properly. The following is a brief overview of what to expect when you hire a bankruptcy attorney to assist you in your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
- Retainer Agreement
Your attorney will first have you sign a retainer agreement that will outline all the services they will provide to you, and how they will help you regarding your legal rights in your case. All expectations, fees, and services will be included in this document, and both parties will sign it (you and your attorney.)
After hiring an attorney officially, they will begin an investigation regarding all of your finances to ensure that all documents such as creditor accounts, loan papers, tax documents, pay stubs, and bills are in one place to give to the bankruptcy court. Oftentimes, a bankruptcy attorney will ask you questions or have you fill out additional paperwork to ensure that all financial areas of your life are represented accurately.
3. Type of Bankruptcy
Your attorney will help you determine whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your unique financial situation.
4. Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Course
The state of Florida requires that any person filing for bankruptcy must first complete a pre-filing bankruptcy credit counseling course. This bankruptcy course is required by law and will help a person understand their finances and give valuable financial information to the debtor.
5. Filing a Bankruptcy Petition
After the credit counseling course is complete, and the decision is made regarding which type of bankruptcy to file, documents will be sent to the appropriate United States Bankruptcy Court. A bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case.
6. Bankruptcy Documents
Your bankruptcy attorney will prepare all documents required for your bankruptcy case. The statements and financial schedules can be extremely complex, and having an experienced bankruptcy attorney prepare these on your behalf will ensure that they are prepared correctly.
7. 341 Meeting
The “341 Meeting” is also known as the Meeting of Creditors, where both you and your attorney will meet with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case and you will answer questions of any creditors that decide to be present.
8. End of Bankruptcy
After the 341 meetings, there will be a determination made by your bankruptcy trustee regarding which debts will be discharged, or how your reorganization plan will be operated. After this point, your bankruptcy case will be closed.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should seriously consider visiting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand your legal rights and help you through this process. Contact the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys today at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan at 561-264-6850 for a free consultation.