A bankruptcy attorney is an asset, which means it is a secure investment for your betterment.
In any phase of your life, an attorney can make a significant difference. These are the professionals who understand the law by heart. Therefore, they are capable of offering their expertise regarding any situation. Similarly, in case of a bankruptcy, it is a good idea to approach one of the bankruptcy attorneys in Knoxville.
There isn’t a doubt that you should certainly aim to get a qualified attorney with extensive experience. However, you can also take advantage of several free-consultation services that many bankruptcy attorneys in Knoxville offer. This can help you determine a good lawyer to advise you throughout the process.
To simplify the process of finding a great lawyer and ensure your legal proceedings are seamless, here are the essential questions that you should ask your attorney:
Before You File For Bankruptcy:
While you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it is a good idea to consult an attorney. Primarily, these are the questions you should certainly discuss with them.
- Should I File for Bankruptcy?
A good lawyer will always help you understand your options. They will go through your documents to determine the right choice of actions. Often, they may give you multiple options. Bankruptcy attorneys in Knoxville may even tell you the pros and cons of each option.
- What Are My Benefits If I File for Bankruptcy?
Primarily, you’re seeking a solution to the problem. It is bankruptcy, and what are your benefits. Sure, there may be none, but they should at least elaborate on any advantage or pro. Most importantly, if they ask you to file for bankruptcy, then why? This question needs to be answered. After all, you’re filing for this scenario due to specific problems you need to rectify, right?
- What Are the Potential Losses I May Face?
You win sometimes, and you lose sometimes, that is how the way of the law works. Thus, a good lawyer will not hide anything from you. They will tell you what kind of losses you might potentially face. More importantly, bankruptcy attorneys will be upfront, honest, and diligent. Not only will they inform you about the cons, but also suggest ways to recover.
- Which Type of Bankruptcy Should I File?
There are two types of bankruptcy, chapter 7 and 13. However, it may differ in terminology, according to the location. According to chapter 7, you will surrender the ownership of your property to the trustee. It might often require some form of negotiations, such as nullification of the loan amount or repayment. Whereas, in chapter 13, you will retain the ownership while you ask to borrow additional repayment time. This repayment time can be anywhere between three to five years.
Questions Related to the Attorney
Perhaps these should be the first series of questions to ask bankruptcy attorneys Knoxville. However, you can also save these for the last, to ask when you need to affirm whether you’re going to hire the person or not.
- How Much Experience Does the Attorney Have?
It is essential to learn about their experience. A lawyer should have at least three years of experience in the field if they want to help you. This ensures that they are polished and capable of handling any situation. Don’t be hesitant to ask for proof like work history and license, if you have to. As a client, it is your right.
- How Will Communication Take Place Between You Two?
Communication is a determining factor in any field of life. You need to understand that the information you share is confidential. How often will you meet to discuss the cases and strategies? Significantly, if they are open to different modes of communication or not.
- How Much Do You Charge?
The first two questions will break the ice for you to ask one final question. That is, how much do they charge. Do they charge according to dates, days, or is it per hour? Are there any hidden fees or an additional charge? You need to make sure that you get a complete fee structure.
To Prevent Any Sneak-Ups:
Two women reviewing paperwork; image by Freshh Connection, via Unsplash.com.
There are times when a lawyer ends up showing something and doing something else. For instance, hidden charges, extra costs, and so on. They may even assign your case to another lawyer in the firm. So to prevent this, right off and ask these questions:
- Who Will Attend Court?
Some bankruptcy lawyers in Knoxville may consult with you, but ultimately their junior or assistant may accompany you to court. Thereby, you have to ask them to make sure which lawyer will be with you. This is not malpractice, and it is merely a way many law firms work. Thus, you need to get acquainted with the lawyer who will represent you, if he isn’t the one you’re consulting. You have the right to judge them and you also have the right to change the attorney or deny their services at any time.
- Can You Get a Written Fee Agreement?
Any genuine lawyer will immediately agree to this. A written fee agreement often has complete details about how they will charge you. If there are any hidden costs, they will have to write it down. More importantly, this agreement will also showcase the services you are inclined to. Understand that this is not a bond, and you have the right to negotiate. Thus, you can ask for changes. If they decline? Well then, there are plenty of other highly qualified bankruptcy attorneys in Knoxville.
A Bankruptcy Attorney is an Asset
Always understand that they have to help you as your legal advisors. More importantly, they should not turn into a liability. A bankruptcy attorney is an asset, which means it is a secure investment for your betterment.
Now, there are some questions you can ask yourself after all of this. Was the attorney concise? Did you understand everything? Was the attorney attentive and diligent in response? Sure, you are not looking to establish a friendship with the person. However, most of the bankruptcy attorneys in Knoxville seek to build a long-term relationship with their clients. So, make sure you understand these requirements, and you will have a great lawyer companion.