Before consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, it will be helpful to know that there are four main types of bankruptcies: Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13. Only two, Chapters 7 and 13 are personal bankruptcy options. The two remaining forms of bankruptcy, chapters 11 and 12 and for corporations and agricultural purposes respectively.
The first step you will want to take when choosing a bankruptcy attorney in the Kansas City area is to find out your attorney’s practice areas. Some attorneys specifically practice bankruptcy-related matters. Other attorneys have a more general practice in which they may cover multiple practice areas, bankruptcy being one of many.
Other attorneys may have a general practice, but want to file for bankruptcy due to recent developments in the economy. If this is the case and the attorney is a solo professional, you will want to be sure to ask if the attorney has a referral source through which you can get help regarding things that you may not know. The practice of bankruptcy law is extremely complex, and sometimes the slightest mistake can make the difference between whether the debtor receives a waiver or a case dismissed.
The next thing a potential debtor will want to know is what type of bankruptcy law the attorney practices. Again, there are some attorneys who specifically focus on Chapter 7 bankruptcy work. Those lawyers may choose to focus on Chapter 7 work because it is less complicated than Chapter 13 work. Chapter 7 will not have substantial assets and are procedurally less tenuous than Chapter 13. This does not mean that there are Kansas City bankruptcy attorneys, who focus on Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, who take Chapter 13 cases.
Another valuable piece of information that a potential debtor in bankruptcy will want to discover is whether the attorney will appear with the debtor at the creditors’ meeting. Once the paperwork has been completed and the documents have been filed with the Bankruptcy Court, the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri will schedule what is called a 341 meeting.
This meeting is also known as “The First Meeting of Creditors.” It will be the first opportunity for the debtor to meet with the bankruptcy administrator and confront creditors who want to prevent bankruptcy from occurring. The lawyer cannot have knowledge of anyone who wishes to challenge the debtor’s release before the meeting of creditors.
If the debtor’s attorney cannot appear at the meeting of creditors, it will be necessary to select a substitute attorney. The fact that the debtor does not have an attorney is generally not a good idea because the trustee may want certain documents sent to the trustee’s office within a short period of time or the trustee may have more specific questions than the debtor itself. may not answer.
If this happens, the debtor would need an attorney who has a copy of the bankruptcy petition. Generally, when a debtor attempts to hold a meeting of creditors without the presence of an attorney, the debtor will not have all the information to adequately satisfy the trustee’s inquiries.
The next thing a potential debtor will want to know when choosing a Kansas City bankruptcy attorney is what is included in the attorney’s fees. This can vary from attorney to attorney. Generally, the attorney’s fee will be a flat fee that will include the bankruptcy filing fee. Currently, this fee is $ 300. However, the attorney’s duty list may vary. Some attorneys will cover everything, from start to finish, with the fees that are paid.
Other attorneys may charge an additional fee if the petition has to be amended or if the trustee requires meetings outside of the meeting of creditors. These fees will generally be covered in the legal representation contract. If not, the potential debtor will want to discuss these matters with the Kansas City bankruptcy attorney.
Here are some things that a potential debtor will want to investigate when choosing a Kansas City bankruptcy attorney. Choosing an attorney is important and should not be based solely on advertising.