Bankruptcy Questions and Answers written by a former bankruptcy attorney. These FAQs have been written as a guide for consumers thinking of filing bankruptcy or deepening there knowledge of bankruptcy
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Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney FAQs

Welcome to our two part

Bankruptcy Attorney FAQ

– Below find part II, Hire And Work With Your Bankruptcy Lawyer

These questions and answers guide you through the process of understanding the interactions and expectations between you and your bankruptcy attorney as you begin to file your case as well as options if your regret your initial choice of bankruptcy lawyers. You may wish to start with part I for information on how to Find A Bankruptcy Lawyer To Your Case if you still need to finalize your bankruptcy attorney selection or have not yet started finding a bankruptcy lawyer.
Q. I found a bankruptcy lawyer I think I want to hire. Isn’t it as simple as just saying “Be my Bankruptcy attorney.” And this FAQ becomes your shortest ever?
A. I bet you have many questions about this process, including some questions you may be afraid or embarrassed to ask. Remember your attorney works with bankruptcy laws every day, you never have before. A good attorney will expect you to ask questions sometimes even silly ones.
Q. Well, if I’m allowed to ask, I want to start with those fees, I need to file bankruptcy, by definition I can’t afford that much and these bankruptcy lawyers seem to charge quite a bit. Can I ask for lower fees if I have a sad story?
A. You can ask, but understand a few things about the bankruptcy business. Almost all clients come to the office with sad stories and most have trouble paying the fees. A bankruptcy attorney must hold the line on fees most of the time. The question itself is expected from a potential client so feel free to ask about lowering bankruptcy legal fees if you wish, but be prepared for a negative response.
Q. Even if I cannot get a discount, might I be able to pay my legal fees over time?
A. For a chapter 7 bankruptcy probably not except that you might be able to make payments leading up to the case as long as your fees are paid in full before your case actually gets filed in bankruptcy court. Sometimes in a chapter 13 bankruptcy the lawyer takes a portion of the legal fees up front and the remainder of the money due goes into the reorganization plan with money due on mortgage arrearage or taxes.
Q. May I demand my bankruptcy attorney put my legal fees into the plan so I do not need to come up with so much money to file my bankruptcy case at the start?
A. No, while this practice occurs frequently it remains optional on the part of the bankruptcy lawyer. What you may do, however, is only hire a chapter 13 attorney willing to put your legal fees into the plan. As a consumer it might even represent the most important element of consideration for you when trying to find a bankruptcy attorney to hire.
Q. Is there any way out of the court filing fees, they add to the burden of the whole bankruptcy process?  
A. No, you must pay the court filing fees.
Q. I feel really depressed about everything involved with my life and the bankruptcy, should I figure that topic goes outside the scope of things I might ask my bankruptcy lawyer?
A. Not at all, you may read my FAQ on the emotional side of being in debt or talk to your bankruptcy lawyer. While their job centers on filing your case in bankruptcy court, a good bankruptcy lawyer expects some conversations dealing with a debtors feelings. Do not attempt to turn them into your psychiatrist, but you may expect some counseling on the emotions that go along with a bankruptcy filing.
Q. My bankruptcy lawyer gave me quite a large stack of papers to fill out; do I really need to do all of this?
A. If you have questions your bankruptcy attorney should answer them, but those forms need to be filled out. Some bankruptcy lawyers do it together with you; some may ask you start the forms on your own.
Q. I have things I do not want the court to take away, should I just leave them out?
A. Trying to hide assets constitutes fraud. Not only can the bankruptcy court dismiss your case with prejudice, so you do not get a discharge and may not file again, but you might face criminal charges.
Q. I thought I could keep almost everything, how does that work?
A. Debtors filing bankruptcy may exempt certain items for seizure by the court. Each state offers its own exemptions and chooses if it will allow people to use the federal exemptions as an option. Before you file you need to have a serious talk with your bankruptcy lawyer about exemptions.
Q. Is there any other kind of fraud I can get myself into if I am not careful?
A. Do not move assets around for the purpose of hiding them from creditors. These get called fraudulent conveyances. Any movement of assets needs a valid reason not connected to your bankruptcy. You must not charge things in anticipation of filing bankruptcy as these will be viewed as fraudulent too. For example if you know you are about to file bankruptcy and you have $1000 of available credit on a card you may not take a vacation or buy a big screen TV using that  credit card.
Q. I’m not sure exactly what I should do and what I should not do?
A. You are not supposed to know, that’s precisely why you need a qualified bankruptcy lawyer. Your attorney should spend some time on pre-bankruptcy planning if needed. Where things may be arranged so that you can keep more assets and none or your changes will be looked upon negatively by the bankruptcy court such coordination becomes essential.
Q. What If I did something before I thought about filing for bankruptcy?
A. Let your bankruptcy attorney answer that for you. Depending on what it was they may ignore it, try to undo it, or wait a certain period of time before filing your bankruptcy.
Q. Once I see a bankruptcy lawyer don’t I file a bankruptcy right away?
A. No, unless you have a foreclosure auction coming right up, most people may file bankruptcy when it works best for them without too many outside time pressures.
Q. Suppose I do have a foreclosure auction scheduled, how soon before it do I need to file in order to stop the sale of my home?
A. So long as you get notice to the auctioneer before the sale and confirm a bankruptcy case docket number minutes before will work, not that I suggest getting anywhere near that close. A week or so is fine and a few days will likely leave you tight but OK. Remember under the new bankruptcy laws you need some credit counseling before you may file.
Q. Why else would I need to remember my docket number?
A. You should keep your bankruptcy docket number with you like your social security number, many people may ask for it. Most commonly you will use it when creditors call after your bankruptcy filing.
Q. So when creditors call I tell them my bankruptcy docket number?
A. Better than that, you tell them your docket number and that you never want them to call you ever again. Give them the docket number and your lawyers name and contact information. You should not get another call from that creditor.
Q. What about timing if I own no property and just need a chapter 7?
A. You and your bankruptcy attorney work out when the timing works out best in terms of your pre-bankruptcy planning and in light of any court cases approaching from your outstanding debts.
Q. For a chapter 13 to stop a foreclosure what are the advantages and disadvantages of waiting until very close to the sale date?
A. You can always try a non-bankruptcy solution like a modification, repayment plan or simple forbearance prior to a bankruptcy, but once you have filed you lock yourself into that option and while you might go back to another solution if your bankruptcy fails to save your house it gets harder.
Q. If I change my mind after I file can I just withdraw my case and everything goes back as if it never happened?
A. No. Once you file the bankruptcy logs as a permanent black mark on your credit report, even if you withdraw or dismiss the case. The bankruptcy court most probably will treat the case as a complete bankruptcy in terms of counting as a case file for figuring how often you may file a bankruptcy. So by withdrawing a case you still have your credit tarnished and you may not file again for many years. Therefore, be sure filing is what you want to do before you start, and if you file be prepared and able to follow the case through until its completion.
Q. What do you mean by follow through the bankruptcy until completion?
A. Too often people file a chapter 13 as a knee jerk reaction to a foreclosure just to stop the sale, but without the ability to make a plan that will both match their ability to pay and the bankruptcy court’s requirements for a viable plan of reorganization. In addition to those who perhaps do not belong in a chapter 13 in the first place, I want to remind anyone thinking of a chapter 13 that you only get the benefits of the chapter 13 laws give the debtor if you make all payments. A large number of people who file a chapter 13 do not finish it. You must be extraordinarily vigilant in your dedication to making payments and making them on time.
Q. Who brings the papers to the bankruptcy court?
A. In most cases your lawyer does that. In rare cases I see the clients do it, but your lawyer will give you specific instructions. Remember that bankruptcy courts stand on their own and may or may not be in or near your local court house.
Q. Will I have to travel to a bankruptcy court at some point?
A. It depends on the type of case you filed. Chapter 7 and chapter 13 will each follow their own procedures.
Q. Once I paid my bankruptcy lawyer to file my case do they need to do everything the court may ask for no matter what?
A. In most cases they will do what would be expected in a standard case. In instances where your case requires additional hearings or significantly extra time the attorney may want to bill for their additional time. The court may need to approve such extra charges.
Q. What happens if I feel I have hired the wrong lawyer in the middle of my case?
A. It depends on why you think you need another attorney. If you are almost done with a very basic case and you don’t like your lawyer because they are very competent but rude just deal with it and finish the case. On the other hand if your lawyer looks to drive your case in what you feel represents a completely wrong direction I would suggest discussing it with them. If you feel you need to make a change, especially in a chapter 11, chapter 13 or complicated chapter 7 you do have that right, but the court will need to approve it.
Q. I researched bankruptcy extensively but my lawyer won’t do what I want, does that mean I should change?
A. Some clients ask lawyers to do things that they feel might be wrong for your case or even illegal. You can certainly talk with another lawyer or even a few other attorneys. You may find they all agree with your original lawyer or that your lawyer stands alone in their ideas. Use this information to make an intelligent decision.
Q. Should I give my bankruptcy lawyer a tip?
A. That’s very very rare and they certainly do not expect one.

Bankruptcy Questions, Answers and Information

Bankruptcy FAQs
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy FAQ
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ
What is Chapter 13 FAQ
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Calculator
Who Should File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process Questions
Bankruptcy FAQ – Chapter 13 – Case Dismissal
Bankruptcy vs. Foreclosure FAQ
Bankruptcy Lawyer FAQ Part I - Find An Attorney
Bankruptcy Lawyer FAQ Part II - Hire An Attorney
Bankruptcy and Tax Debt FAQ
Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy FAQ
Non-Bankruptcy Solutions Vs. Bankruptcy FAQ
Bankruptcy Information
Bankruptcy Alternatives - Debtor's Options
US Federal Personal Bankruptcy Exemptions
US States Personal Bankruptcy Exemptions
Table Of Which US States Use Federal Exemptions
Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act - 2005
Chapter 11 Overview
Bankruptcy Forms
Dictionary Of Bankruptcy Terminology

Bankruptcy Alternatives
& Debt Or Credit Help

Bankruptcy Alternatives - Debtor's Options
Stop Home Foreclosure Help Articles And FAQs
How To Stop Foreclosure Options Explained
Foreclosure Process Information FAQ
Short Sale FAQ
Deed in Lieu Of Foreclosure FAQ
Understanding And Erasing Credit Card Debt
Credit Card Debt Relief - Debt Settlement
Free Online Credit Improvement Course
Credit Rebuilding Article
Understand Credit Score
Loan Options For Bad Credit Borrowers
Directory Of Bad Credit Mortgage Brokers
Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit Articles
Free Interactive Budget Calculator And Analysis
Who To Pay When You Can't Pay Everyone
How To Get Money When You Need Money
Debt Calculators

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