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Factors to Consider When Interviewing San Jose Bankruptcy Attorneys - Attorneys.com

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, you may be considering hiring a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer. But you may also feel a bit overwhelmed by trying to find a lawyer. There are so many factors to consider. But we can help.

That you’re interested in finding a lawyer is a good move. Bankruptcy lawyers understand the ins and outs of this complicated area of law. San Jose bankruptcy lawyers can present you with a whole array of options, some of which may include alternatives to bankruptcy. You definitely could use the expertise of a bankruptcy lawyer.

But how can you know which lawyer is right for you? Among the many factors to consider are an attorney’s:

  • Background and experience
  • Advice and strategy
  • Legal fees
  • Trustworthiness

Let’s look at these areas more closely.

Experience

A strong motivation to hire a lawyer is to take advantage of his knowledge. So you’ll want to look for a San Jose bankruptcy attorney who has a history of representing San Jose clients filing for bankruptcy. You probably don’t want someone who just graduated from law school or who only handles a couple of bankruptcy filings on the side in addition to practicing another type of law.

A good bankruptcy lawyer likes to stay on top of the latest developments in federal and state laws. There are a number of ways a lawyer can do this, including, for example, through bar associations, other professional organizations and continuing education.

Advice

No two bankruptcies are alike, in the same way everyone’s financial situation is unique. You’ll want to hear opinions about which course of action is best for you.

A good bankruptcy lawyer can explain the differences between filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy (also known as straight bankruptcy) and Chapter 13 bankruptcy (known as reorganization). In discussing these differences, you’ll want to know which is better for you and the reasons why.

Whether you are in Edenvale or Winchester or any other of the city, you also need to be crystal clear on which debts you’ll be able to erase and which might remain after the bankruptcy. Likewise, you’ll want to know which, if any, property you can keep.

Timing your bankruptcy filing in San Jose is a delicate matter. You don’t want to wait so long that your house ends up in foreclosure or your car is repossessed. On the flip side, there’s a danger in filing too soon, especially if you just made a large purchase on credit or recently transferred property to someone.

A good bankruptcy lawyer will have guidance in all these matters.

Legal Fees

If you’ve never hired a lawyer before, you’re sure to wonder about how much legal services cost. Most bankruptcy lawyers in San Jose charge using one of two billing methods: Either the hourly fee or the flat fee. They work as you might suspect, either billing you by the hour or charging one flat fee for all services.

No matter which billing method your lawyer prefers, you’re bound to pay other related legal expenses. These could include items related to your filing, such as court filing fees, tuition for mandatory financial management classes or fees charged by the trustee assigned to oversee your bankruptcy.

But your lawyer may also have office-related expenses for you to pay, such as photocopying, the use of a paralegal or travel-related expenses.

Talking to a San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you measure a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer against these ideals. The answers come – literally – in the interview process you undertake before hiring someone.

Most bankruptcy attorneys in San Jose are willing to sit down with you for an introductory meeting called an initial consultation. Oftentimes, this meeting is offered for free or costs a nominal fee.

This is where you’ll ask your questions about the lawyers’ experience. This is where you’ll get some feedback about your bankruptcy options. And this is where you can ask specific questions about the attorneys’ fees.

Based on how your conversations go, you’ll then be able to form a judgment about the last factor listed above, trustworthiness. Beyond a lawyer’s résumé, you want to be comfortable with your choice.

If a lawyer is patient with your questions, knowledgeable and offers good advice, you may conclude that this is a lawyer in whom you can place your confidence. Factoring this altogether, you have found your San Jose bankruptcy lawyer. You are ready to move ahead with getting your finances under control.

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