Under the U.S.A law, any person can file for bankruptcy. While the term 'bankruptcy' is filled with negative connotation, in reality it is not just a bad thing. You can look at bankruptcy as a means of doing way with your accumulating debts and starting with life afresh. However, bankruptcy is a complex procedure having several 'Chapters' to consider. You need to understand the nuances of each chapter and according file for bankruptcy. Since it isn't an easy job, it is always advisable to hire a bankruptcy lawyer if you are based in San Jose.
Tips While Hiring A Bankruptcy Lawyer in San Jose
Look For Experience: Bankruptcy is a specialized subject and should be handled by experts. It is complex and one has to consider several things before filing for bankruptcy. If you have a family lawyer who doesn't specialize in bankruptcy, it is advisable that you do not go to him. However, if he holds experience in dealing with bankruptcy successfully he is the man you are looking for.
Experience Speaks Volumes: Filing bankruptcy doesn't mean your problems have ended. Unless the court gives a favorable verdict and directs creditors to waive off your debts, you do not see success. To see success, you need an experienced person with you. Always look for lawyers who have a minimum experience of 8-10 years behind them.
Check For Lawyer's Credentials: In most cases you would be filing for bankruptcy for the first time and wouldn't know lawyers specializing in bankruptcy. If this is the case and you also do not know anyone who can refer a bankruptcy lawyer, check with the San Jose bar association and find out the list of practicing bankruptcy lawyers. Once you have the list, you can also cross-check it with the local bankruptcy court (which also keeps a list of practicing lawyers).
Charges Reasonably: Since you are already in a financial mess, you should look for lawyers who do not charge unreasonably. The amount of fees lawyers charge will however depend on a case-to-case basis. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the attorney fees would be high. Chapter 7 is complex and thus more the charge. On the other hand, most states have directives limiting the amount lawyers can charge you. Be wary of attorneys you are quoting very less as their charges. This can be an indication that he isn't very good.
Availability: If you have zeroed down on a bankruptcy lawyer who is extremely popular, be careful. The reason is simple - since he is popular, he would have lots of clients. And when he has many clients he may not be able to give you enough time. This can be risky as you would be left in a lurch only trying to fix appointments with your attorney. When you are selecting a lawyer, ask him straightforward how much time he can devote to your problem. Accordingly choose the lawyer.