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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2019 | Bankruptcy Basics, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Why Hire an Attorney?

When you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.  During this difficult time, it’s critical that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process.  At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. we provide free initial bankruptcy consultations and will answer your questions. So how do you decide who is most qualified, who you can best work with and what you can expect from your bankruptcy attorney?  Here are the top 6 questions which we believe you should ask, and the attorney should answer during your initial consultation.

1. Should I file for bankruptcy?

In order for a bankruptcy attorney to answer this question they need to know, generally, what your assets, income and liabilities are.  Additionally, at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. we always want to know our client’s goals. The attorney should explain both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies and offer recommendations and options based on your individual situation.

2. What are the benefits and negatives if I file for bankruptcy?

The attorney should take the time to explain what the benefits of you filing bankruptcy would be, and how it might depend upon whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The attorney should also tell you of the potential consequences that may result from filing bankruptcy versus what the effects would be if you do not file.

3. How much of the attorney’s practice is devoted to bankruptcy cases?

When you walk into a bankruptcy attorney’s office you assume that their primary practice is devoted to bankruptcy.  However, that is no always the case.  Sometimes attorneys who practice bankruptcy law may do many other types of law and may not have much experience in bankruptcy law at all.  Ideally you would want to work with an attorney that has extensive experience in this specialized area of the law.

4. What information is needed to get started?

The more information the attorney asks you to provide the better.  To avoid problems with your case you will need to provide various information including income information, tax returns and other financial data. At your initial consultation, your attorney should explain to you what documents and information will be required to properly prepare your bankruptcy.

5. Who will go with me to my 341 meeting?

In every bankruptcy case, there is a 341 meeting with the Trustee that the debtor (the person whose bankruptcy it is) must attend.  Many clients are very nervous about this meeting.  During this time, you will want the attorney that has been handling your case at your side and not someone that might not even be affiliated with the lawyer’s office, so ask the question up front.  At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. our attorneys will work on your case and attend the meeting with you.

6. How much is the attorney’s fee?

After discussing your individual situation and determining whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your individual situation, the attorney should specify how much the fee is and what it covers.  The fee should cover both the attorneys fee and the filing fee.  Just remember cheaper is not always better.  Experience and knowledge are very important.

At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. We Welcome Your Questions

Bankruptcy offers hope and relief to those in need. At Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., we have dedicated the last thirty years of our lives to providing smart, effective legal representation, and we can provide it for you. Let us help you move into your brighter future. Contact us at (973) 323-2953 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation where you can ask all of your questions.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress.  We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years. The information on this website and blogs is for general information purposes only.  Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.