Going bankrupt used to have dreadful implications: the loss of good credit standing for a very long time, being blacklisted with credit sites for many years afterwards, and dreadful shame and stigma as many people assume that going insolvent is due to poor financial planning or profligate spending. This is no longer the case, especially following the recent global financial crisis. Not only are bankruptcies more common, but laws and regulations have changed to allow those affected to start again, and have a fair chance of getting back on their feet.
Choosing you bankruptcy lawyer
Along with the increase in bankruptcies has come an increase in bankruptcy lawyers. Should you be in need of a bankruptcy lawyer, there are a few things that you should take into account. First of all, do some research. Many lawyers have a strong online presence and you will be able to check them out, reading through reviews and customer testimonials until you find one that seems to suit your needs.
If possible, find one that offers a free initial consultation and book an appointment. In the run-up to the appointment keep a notebook to hand and jot down all your financial information – as much as possible, leaving nothing out. If you can pinpoint the reason for your financial collapse – a redundancy, injury that stopped you working for a time, messy and costly divorce, loss of an important revenue stream, or even something as simple as your monthly bills and expenses overtaking your earnings – jot those down too. If you can face the lawyer and account for every cent that you have had as income and spent over the last few months, he or she will be in a good position to give you the best possible advice on how to proceed.
Before hiring anyone to help you give some thought to the size of the firm and the general busy-ness of the lawyer in question. Bear in mind that big law firms tend to be very focussed on productivity and will therefore spend less time babying you through the process, but they will be vastly experienced and have a good knowledge of the system. A smaller firm will be more anxious to keep you happy as a client, and will therefore spend some time 'holding your hand' and talking you through the processes – but bear in mind that time spent talking to you is time NOT spent resolving issues with your creditors! Smaller firms will not have the wide array of resources that larger firms can offer. It all comes down to whether you value clinical expertise over good, old-fashioned customer service!
Filing for insolvency is never free and you will incur costs that will need to be paid promptly. However, it can help you shrug off an insupportable burden of debt and start afresh. After a relatively short time, the impact of the insolvency on your credit rating will be greatly softened and you will be back in a good financial position.
- An lawyer can help you decide which level of insolvency you need to declare, then guide you through the complicated process to a satisfactory conclusion.
- Being financially ruined does not have to have an impact on the rest of your life any more – these days you will begin to get offers for credit within months of the hearing
- Investing in an experienced advocate to help you through the process is sure to be money well spent.