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Questions to Ask a California Bankruptcy/Debt Settlement Lawyer

If you are suffering under a mountain of crushing debt, you might be looking for legal help to evaluate options like whether filing for bankruptcy is best or whether attempting debt settlement negotiations might succeed. In truth, you DO need the help of proven legal talent, like the bankruptcy and debt settlement attorneys at the Guardian Litigation Group. Do-it-yourself bankruptcies and debt settlement negotiations are nearly always sub-optimal.

Some people are intimidated by the idea of calling and talking with experienced California bankruptcy and debt settlement lawyers. But, interviewing and getting a comfort level with a bankruptcy lawyer is not as difficult as you may think. It is just a matter of knowing what to ask and what topics to discuss. Here are some questions to ask a California bankruptcy lawyer when you are seeking options for debt relief.

Ask questions about the attorney's experience and background with debt relief cases

You want to have confidence and trust in the team of lawyers that you hire. So, explore some questions about the team and the various lawyers’ background and experience. Examples of questions include how many years has the lawyer or firm been handling bankruptcy and debtor cases, how many cases or debt settlement negotiations have they successfully shepherded and similar questions. Also, ask about "good results'' that the attorneys have achieved for previous clients, and even ask about "bad results."

Ask about the different kinds of cases handled

There are several types of bankruptcies that can be filed. Some are more for individual debtors, while others tend to be used by corporate debtors. Ask which type of bankruptcies the lawyers have handled. Also ask if the lawyer concentrates on one type or another.

Ask about the attorney's depth of experience

Bankruptcies begin with the filing of a bankruptcy petition. Often, cases proceed smoothly and your attorney never needs to appear before the bankruptcy judge. But you do not know if your case will go smoothly. So, ask about the attorney's preparedness to handle motions and adversarial proceedings that must be conducted before the bankruptcy judge assigned to your case.

Ask about your personal debt situation

The most important questions to ask involve your own personal debt situation. You will need to explain the types and amounts of your debts and where matters may stand with debt collection actions, lawsuits and garnishments. You will also want to have information about your income and assets. From this, the attorney you are interviewing can offer some preliminary counsel about options. When you do this, remember to ask about "things" that might be "problematic" for your bankruptcy or settlement negotiation. This will help you understand your options better and also help with managing expectations.

Ask about what YOUR responsibilities will be

Part of being comfortable with making legal decisions is knowing what responsibilities will be expected of you. For example, if a debt settlement is negotiated, you may need to wire transfer a lump sum of money by a certain date. Can you do that? As another example, if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must attend what is called the Meeting of Creditors. Can you commit to being there? Before deciding on an option, you must be prepared to meet your obligations.

Ask about fees, expenses and payment options

Finally, you must ask about fees, expenses and payment options. Various debt relief options generally have different payment, fee and expense structures. For example, if you file a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy, trustee's fees are included as part of the repayment plan. It is important to understand the different fee structures as you evaluate your options for debt relief.

Contact an Experienced Debt Relief and Debtors’ Rights Attorney

For more information, contact the Debtors’ Rights attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group. We can help if you think bankruptcy is the right option. We have the tools and experience you need. Our mission is to provide unparalleled legal services and support for those being crushed by their debts and harassed by their creditors. We can also help with debt settlement negotiations for an individual creditor or a group of creditors. We can be reached via our contact page or by phone at (800) 316-3133.