7 Questions to Ask a Bankruptcy Attorney

Is your business going through a rough patch?

The current health crisis is making a big impact on many factors in our lives. Small business owners took the biggest blow since it meant they got no customers fueling their business. This caused many retailers to close down and file for bankruptcy.

You may be heading towards the same destination, and you’ll want to prepare yourself for what’s to come. You may become overwhelmed with the debts that you incur when filing for bankruptcy. This is why you need a good bankruptcy attorney to help you through the process.

They’ll ensure that you go through a smooth transition during this difficult time. To make sure that your first meeting with your new attorney goes well, you should prepare. Here are some questions for you to ask during the first meeting.

1. Do I File For Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

This is a loaded question to ask your attorney. This is a great way to know whether you should worry about your assets or not. These are also the 2 basic bankruptcies that you can file for, so it’s a great way to gauge the knowledge of your new attorney. 

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must give up most of your assets to a trustee. This is to make up for anything that you’re lacking as you’re filing for bankruptcy. What’s great is that you can petition to keep with you have.

Petitioning, in this case, is a good idea because it can apply to your home, your car, and any asset within your property. A good attorney can help you keep these to prevent you from going homeless.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies mean that you don’t need to give up your property. You’ll need to enter a payment plan, though, to repay any debt you incur.

A good attorney will know what you can file for after a thorough examination of your assets. They should also assist you in knowing the pros and cons of either choice in your situation.

2. Do I Have Assets That Are Non-Exempt?

When you’re hiring a local bankruptcy attorney, it’s important to ask whether you have non-exempt assets. Doing this is important because each state has a list of what they deem to be non-exempt assets. They should know the list like the back of their hands to be able to help you.

If you do have such assets, ask your attorney what options you have in protecting them. Otherwise, trustees can seize them and drive any payment plan higher for you to get it back. This often means that you won’t be able to retrieve them until the end of the 5-year payment period.

3. Do I Have Preferential Payment Issues?

Before you can file for bankruptcy, you may have not enough money to pay for the debt that you incur. If you don’t want to give up any of your assets, you can ask a creditor to cover for you. This is what you call a preferential payment.

Your attorney will be able to help you with this in the sense that your payment to the creditor will be legal. There are tons of issues that can occur when paying your preferential debt payment. One such complication can stem from having someone else pay in your stead.

A good attorney would advise you with this. This makes it easier for you to avoid having any case filed against you or your creditor.

4. When Can I File My Case?

As someone filing for bankruptcy, you’d want this to be over soon. This makes it a good idea to file your case as soon as possible. Ask your attorney how fast you can file the case so you can have a good time table.

For a Chapter 7 case, you can file it as soon as you pay the retainer fee. They often ask you to pay in full to secure their finances before the case starts. 

A Chapter 13 case can begin soon as retainers often settle for around half the agreed-upon payment. They’ll often ask for the rest through a payment plan. You’ll often need to provide a detailed financial statement to assure them that you can pay.

5. Will Filing For Bankruptcy Effect My Spouse?

Most people worry that filing for bankruptcy will also affect their spouses. Good attorneys will take a look at the contract and lease of the business before saying anything. They’ll check whether you’ve co-signed on loans and/or credits.

If not, then you can be sure that nothing won’t happen to your spouse. However, some creditors will have your spouse repay you. A good attorney will prevent this and help you seek other avenues for payment.

6. Have I Had Possible Fraudulent Transfers?

Before bankruptcy, you may have done what you can to keep your business afloat. While this is all well and good, you may have made some possible fraudulent transfers. These often happen when the items you’ve sold were less than their market value.

This can also happen when the funds you’ve gotten from selling these items weren’t filed before filing for bankruptcy. This means that you have assets that the bank isn’t aware of.

A good attorney will be able to help you get all assets and funds in order. Doing this before filing for bankruptcy is important to avoid legal issues.

7. How Much Are Their Fees?

You should also ask about the cost of the attorney’s services. You should also ask how you’ll pay them. A good attorney will look for payment plans to allow you to recover after filing for bankruptcy.

If their fees are too much for you, consider looking for an affordable bankruptcy attorney. Find a bankruptcy attorney now to help speed the process along.

Ask Your Bankruptcy Attorney These Questions Today 

These questions will help you create the perfect dynamic between you and your bankruptcy attorney. These also help you ensure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to matters about your business. Have your attorney help you ensure that everything is in order today!

Do you want to know what else you can do in case of bankruptcy? Our guides can help you through any difficulties you may encounter. Check them out and learn what you can do to help yourself through.