When you’re considering filing for bankruptcy protection in Colorado there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. During this stressful time, it is critical that you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney, one who knows his or her way around the Colorado Bankruptcy Court. Here are a number of questions you should be prepared to ask a potential bankruptcy lawyer.
1. How long have you been practicing bankruptcy law? In general you want a lawyer with many years of experience to handle your case. Bankruptcy, despite what you may read, is complex and knowing the ins and outs of a bankruptcy situation in Colorado can save you money and aggravation.
2. Do I need to file for bankruptcy? Many bankruptcy lawyers will happily take your money in almost any circumstance. Some debts may be beyond the time allowed for collection by the statue of limitations, and some Debtors may only have exempt assets and thus not need to file, or it may be appropriate to wait for a different time to file, such is often the case with debtors who are facing expensive future medical treatment.
3. What is the fee and what is included? Here you must be very careful. First, many lawyers lie in their advertising about bankruptcy fees. They may claim the fee is $500 but when you get to the office you are required to purchase credit counseling or a credit report, or what have you, for additional fees. Bankruptcy law in Denver and Colorado is extremely competitive. Unfortunately, this has lead some bankruptcy lawyers to act in a very dishonest and greedy manner. Hire a professional who will be straight with you about the fee.
4. What is included in the fee if trouble develops? Done correctly a bankruptcy in Colorado generally goes smoothly, you appear at Court once, and file the required documents with the Bankruptcy Court at the direction of your lawyer. If the case is complex or you get audited, the fee agreement you sign should spell out what is, and is not, included in the initial fee. Here again, there is no substitute for experience in bankruptcy law and a good lawyer will have a fee agreement that is fair with regard to extra work.
5. What is the best way to contact you? Your lawyer should generally be available by cell or email. You will have questions and concerns during your case and in preparing your case. Many lawyers, and in particular the lawyers with the lowest fees, rely exclusively on staff to deal with clients. You don’t want that. You are paying for a lawyer, not to simply interact with staff, so insist on contact with your bankruptcy lawyer. An incorrect answer from someone who is not a trained lawyer can be expensive for you, so insist on answers from a qualified bankruptcy lawyer in Colorado. Do not let the temptation to pay as little as possible lead you down the road to basically having a secretary as your lawyer. Bankruptcy is a legal matter and can be complex, there is a reason that a law license is necessary, so be sure to get qualified help.