Bankruptcy Attorney in Brooklyn[yoast-breadcrumb]
Finding the Right Bankruptcy Attorney in Brooklyn
Filing for bankruptcy can be a scary, overwhelming process. But having the right bankruptcy attorney in your corner makes all the difference. As a financial services company in Brooklyn, we want to help you find an attorney who can guide you through the bankruptcy process with empathy and expertise.
Do You Really Need to File for Bankruptcy?
Before jumping into bankruptcy, make sure it’s truly the best option for your situation. Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 7-10 years and can make it harder to get loans, credit cards, or approval for rental housing in the future.Here are some signs it may be time to consider bankruptcy:
- You’re struggling with high amounts of debt that you realistically can’t pay off
- Bill collectors are hounding you non-stop
- You’ve had your wages garnished or had property repossessed
- You’ve had to rely heavily on credit cards just to get by
If several of these apply to you, then bankruptcy may provide the fresh start you need. An attorney can look at your full financial situation and confirm if it’s the best path forward.
Choosing the Right Type of Bankruptcy
There are a few different types of personal bankruptcy filings, each with pros and cons:Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: This type liquidates your assets to pay back creditors. Any remaining debts are discharged. Chapter 7 tends to be faster and less expensive than other options. But you may have to give up property.Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Also called reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 13 sets up a 3-5 year repayment plan to pay back creditors. You get to keep property but must have a regular income to make payments.Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Normally used by businesses, but high-income individuals can use it too. Assets aren’t liquidated but debts are restructured. The complex process can be very costly.A bankruptcy attorney can guide you in choosing the right chapter based on your specific situation. Many offer free consultations. Be wary of any pushing Chapter 13 just to make more money from payment plans.
Finding the Right Bankruptcy Lawyer in Brooklyn
Since bankruptcy is a complex legal process, having an experienced attorney is crucial. Here’s how to find a great one:
- Ask for recommendations from trusted friends, family, or financial advisors. Those with first-hand experience can tell you about their lawyer’s responsiveness, expertise, and bedside manner.
Look for an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. You want someone well-versed in all the intricacies of the bankruptcy code.
Find someone experienced. This is not the time for a novice lawyer. Look for someone with 5+ years handling bankruptcies, preferably with 100+ cases under their belt.
Make sure they have time for you. Beware attorneys taking on too many clients to give you proper attention. Opt for someone responsive who will answer your questions.
Consider affordability. Rates can range from $1,000-$3,000, sometimes with additional court and filing fees. Get fee estimates upfront so you can budget.
Meet for a consultation. Make sure you feel comfortable communicating with them before committing. Ask lots of questions to understand their expertise.
Choose someone who shows empathy. Filing bankruptcy is an emotional process. Find an attorney who listens and reassures you in this difficult time.
Read online reviews. Websites like Avvo provide candid client feedback about lawyers’ responsiveness, knowledge, and professionalism.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Bankruptcy Lawyer
To find the best attorney for your situation, come prepared with questions:
- How long have you been practicing bankruptcy law? How many cases have you handled?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to bankruptcy?
- Which chapter of bankruptcy do you think is best for my situation? Why?
- How quickly do you respond to client calls and emails?
- Who handles most of the work – you or paralegals/associates?
- What are your fees and what expenses should I expect? Is there a payment plan?
- If I have questions during the process, will you personally provide advice?
- Can you share any client stories or testimonials about their experience?
- Are you willing to work with my budget?
The Bankruptcy Filing Process
Here’s a general overview of what happens during bankruptcy:
- You’ll gather financial records and complete paperwork providing details about income, assets, debts, and expenses. Your attorney will review for accuracy.
- The attorney files a bankruptcy petition and related documents with the court on your behalf.
- You may have to complete credit counseling before the court will approve (discharge) your bankruptcy.
- A trustee is appointed to oversee liquidating assets (Chapter 7) or ensuring you stick to a repayment plan (Chapter 13).
- For Chapter 7 – a hearing is set for creditors to object, then debts are discharged within 3-6 months. You’ll get a fresh start.
- For Chapter 13 – you’ll make monthly payments over 3-5 years before remaining debts are discharged.
- Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. But the fresh start allows you to rebuild credit.
Your attorney will help gather paperwork, walk you through meetings, and ensure the process goes smoothly.<h3>Life After Bankruptcy</h3> It can take time to recover after bankruptcy. Here are some tips:
- Stick to a budget to avoid racking up new debt. Consider credit counseling to develop healthy money habits.
- Start rebuilding credit – get a secured credit card and make payments on time.
- Hold off on major purchases like a house or car for at least 12-24 months. Wait to apply for loans until your credit score increases.
- Know that some debts like student loans and back taxes may not be discharged. Your attorney can provide guidance on managing remaining obligations.
- Learn from the experience – reflect on what led to the bankruptcy to avoid repeating financial mistakes.
While bankruptcy feels embarrassing, try not to beat yourself up. Job losses, medical bills, and other unforeseen circumstances can happen. Just focus on re-establishing financial stability.With the help of an experienced Brooklyn bankruptcy attorney, you can recover and rebuild. We hope these tips make the process feel less intimidating so you can get the fresh start you deserve. Let us know if we can answer any other questions about finding the right lawyer or preparing for bankruptcy.