One out of every 70 households in the United States files for bankruptcy, that’s an estimated 322 out of every million American adults. Filing for bankruptcy is already a very stressful decision and financial process, but an experienced bankruptcy lawyer should be able to help you every step of the way.
Choosing a lawyer for bankruptcy should take some careful consideration; choosing the wrong one could hinder your ability to get out of debt. For many, finding lawyers for bankruptcy is a completely unfamiliar process, so we advise you to carefully select an experienced firm.
About Bankruptcy: The top three states with the most bankruptcy filings in 2012 were California, Arizona, and Nevada — states that all suffered the most from the downfall in the housing market. In July 2013, there were 87,684 filings throughout the country. You are not alone if you feel you need to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A competent lawyer can help you decide if this is the best decision for you.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? This type of filing helps you re-organize your debt and create a court-approved plan to pay a pre-determined amount back. According to the American Journal of Medicine, 62% of bankruptcy filings were due to illness or medical bills. If you have struggled financially due to medical bills, finding a reputable law firm is one of the best decisions you can make.
How to Find a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer: There are many, many law firms that tout their experience, but it is important to choose a firm with experience in the specific field you are needing help with. Once you’ve found a respectable law office and a potential candidate to represent you, there are a few questions you should ask the lawyer before you say yes to their services.
Determining Experience Level:
- Ask how long they have been practicing bankruptcy law. If they answer “a few months,” this is not a good sign. However, with an answer of five or more years, this could be the firm and or lawyer for you.
- Ask how long they have been with the firm they are with now. If they’ve only just started in the firm but have worked at other firms, this could be a red flag that the lawyer hasn’t quite found their niche in the industry yet.
- Most importantly, ask how many bankruptcy cases the lawyer handles per month, and what their winning percentage is. If the number of cases per month is high but the wins low, you may want to look elsewhere.