What You Should Ask Yourself Before You Begin Your Bankruptcy
Thinking that bankruptcy will be the right choicate for you? Here are some questions you need to ask before you begin the process.
1. Do you have any assets?
2. If so, how much are they worth?
3. Are you unable to make your bills?
4. Has your income dropped in the past 6 months?
5. Have you had additional expenses that you didn’t plan on before?
6. Are you feeling the stress of making your mortgage payments every month?
Answering yes to any of these questions may qualify you for bankruptcy. You need to speak to a trained bankruptcy attorney to give you an accurate idea if this is the right choice for you. Here is how you can evaluate the law firm you chose to work with. 10 Things to ask before you begin your Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement
Do you have an attorney on staff?
This is a great question for two reasons. If they say, yes, then ask for their name and feel free to check them out with the state bar association. Working with a law firm gives your case legitimacy because it means they can handle any legal situations that may arise during the negotiations of the modification. If the company does not have attorneys that likely means that are just document preparers and likely know how to fill out the bankruptcy forms for the simplest cases. You will know that someone is a document preparer when they charge a really low price, because the court fees alone a minimum of $299. WIlshire Law Group is law firm who has in house attorneys that oversees all documentation and negotiation activities with creditors. Wilshire Law Group has attorneys who speak to their clients whenever requested. Do not hire any company unless you have spoken to the head attorney first.
Is your processing done in house or is it contracted out?
This is a good question because it will tell you if the company is acting as a “middle man” and simply collecting a referral fee. When services are referred out, you may need to deal with two or three companies which can lead to unnecessary delays and unorganized processing of your file. This could also expose your confidential personal information to several companies and their personnel.
In what state are the attorneys located?
This is crucial. Most states require that before you can receive your state’s bankruptcy protections you must be able to prove that you are a resident for at least the past two years. Don’t work with those “national” bankruptcy companies or law firms. They will only sell your personal information and send email spam your way.
Wilshire Law Group has actual offices throughout California. In fact, we only retain bankruptcy clients who are located in California. In some instances where bankruptcy is not an option, Wilshire Law Group can be retained for debt settlement negotiations with your creditors
Do you have a background in bankruptcy? If so what is it?
This is always a good question to ask because it shows the level of their competency and how they operate their business. When working with an attorney, make sure they are competent in bankruptcy law. Not all attorneys should be working on bankruptcy. Like doctors, attorneys have their areas of specialty so don’t work with someone who just started practicing in this field.
Do I need to be late in order to make this work?
No. Although it may help expedite the process in certain cases, it is not mandatory.
How long does this process take?
It can take anywhere between two weeks to several months depending on the creditors and the complexity of the file.
With the help of our attorneys, Wilshire Law Group attempts to speed up the process as much as possible. We submit thorough, professionally packaged files to the bankruptcy court and legal departments of creditors when available, to help expedite the process.
If I can’t get a bankruptcy completed what can be done?
There is a whole menu of resolutions available. There is litigation (in cases of deceptive practices), debt settlement, short-sale, short-payoff, or deed-in-lieu.
Wilshire Law Group actively negotiates debt with creditors, short sales and will present all available option to you if a bankruptcy is not possible.
Can you provide references?
Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to real people. Some companies will post questionable testimonials on their site signed by “Homer S.”, “Monty B.”, “Ned F.” or “Moe S.” For all you know the owner or of one of their employees could have written these testimonials.
Wilshire Law Group has actual client testimonials on our website and National television commercials with signed, legal affidavits. All reference documentation can be provided when requested.
What are my costs and can you put this in writing?
There are several ways a bankruptcy company can charge. They can charge a flat fee or sometimes a fee based on a sliding scale depending on the size of your debt. If they are unwilling to spell out the terms to you up front, keep shopping. A bankruptcy fee should include fees that may be incurred during the negotiation process. Be careful of “junk” or extra fees not outlined in your agreement.
Wilshire Law Group uses a legal service agreement that outlines all costs associated with your service. There are no “hidden” or “junk” fees to be added later.
Be careful of bankruptcy law firms or companies that offer or guarantee specific results because they don’t know what the final terms will be.