Bankruptcy can be a complicated and emotional process – but it’s one that can often be made a lot easier with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.
But, as you begin to consider bankruptcy as a potential resolution to your financial issues, it can be difficult to know where to get started looking for help. Given that this is such a serious and important process, how do you find a qualified legal professional – and how will you know if they’re the right fit for you?
As you begin the process of meeting with bankruptcy attorneys, here are three major questions to ask:
Are They Knowledgeable About the Process?
Bankruptcy is a lengthy and complex process, and it it takes (pardon the Liam Neeson reference) a special set of skills to help you complete every step of the journey and hold onto the assets that matter most to you.
A bottom line to expect from your legal professional is a thorough, complete knowledge of the law, and a willingness to explain the relevant details to you. Your attorney should be someone you can turn to for matters relating to:
- Understanding whether bankruptcy is the right resolution for you
- Knowing which type of bankruptcy you should file
- Getting a handle on what you should expect during the bankruptcy process, and all of the ways that these steps could be made easier and smoother
- Preparing and filing all relevant paperwork, and keeping up with all deadlines
- Preparing for how to achieve your financial goals after bankruptcy
Are They Able to Understand Your Unique Case?
No two people are alike, and it’s important to work with a legal professional who is willing to take the time to understand what makes your situation unique. Do your attorney and their team engage with you? Do they ask probing questions? Are they empathetic and eager to listen?
All of these things matter! It’s important to know that you’re working with a team that is not only knowledgeable about all of the legalese, but also about how those complex concepts apply to you. Here are a few questions worth asking:
- Is this legal team able to understand your unique debts and assets?
- Have they communicated what debts you can discharge?
- Can they devise a restructuring plan that makes sense?
- Are they taking every step possible to protect you and your assets immediately and throughout the bankruptcy process?
- Are they able to help set you up with strategic plans to avoid future debt issues?
Is This Someone You Can Get Along With?
Now, you don’t have to be best friends with your bankruptcy attorney. But, it is essential that you find someone you can collaborate with easily, who has a communication style that fits with your own. As we mentioned above, bankruptcy can be at times a lengthy process, and it’s important to factor interpersonal dynamics into consideration when you’re weighing between several candidates.
Even more than the length of time that bankruptcy can take, or the complexity, is the emotional toll that this process can have. Declaring bankruptcy is an immensely personal decision, and you’re likely to be in an emotionally raw position at least a few times during the process.
It’s worth asking:
- Is this legal team comprised of people who are willing to understand your wants and needs during this trying time?
- Are they qualified, experienced specialists in bankruptcy?
- Are they committed to helping you hit refresh on your financial life?
- Do they seem open, honest, and trustworthy about what goes into this process – and what you might get out of it?
- Are they taking steps to clearly communicate their intentions, and leave you comfortable knowing that you’re making the right decisions?
Have any questions? Want to keep the conversation going? The Gunderson Law Firm would be happy to help. The attorneys and staff of The Gunderson Law Firm specialize in helping individuals and businesses in Illinois file bankruptcy in the most appropriate ways to discharge debts and kick-start a fresh financial life.While we can’t promise to make anyone’s bankruptcy painless, we can get you through it in a clear, sensible fashion and help relieve you of the burden of overwhelming debt.