If you're experiencing severe financial difficulties, bankruptcy can provide a path to debt relief and help you get a fresh start. Whether you are just starting to consider bankruptcy or have already filed, getting a bankruptcy lawyer involved can help you maximize the benefits afforded to you by the United States Bankruptcy Code.
We've assembled a list of trusted local lawyers that you can use to find the right Houston bankruptcy attorney to help you stop wage garnishment, prevent creditor harassment, get debt relief, and protect your property.
Types of Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if the process is right for you or if other debt relief options are better suited to your needs. If bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation, your lawyer will help you decide whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy (often used by individuals or small business owners), Chapter 13 bankruptcy (where debt repayment plans are established to help you get back on track), Chapter 11 (business reorganization) or some other form of Texas-specific bankruptcy process is best for you.
Why File For Bankruptcy?
People wind up filing for bankruptcy for many reasons, often involving outside forces or unforeseen expenses: Medical debt and unexpected health care costs can quickly spiral out of control, credit card debt can accrue due to business expenses or needing to use a credit card during periods of unemployment and low cash flow, investments in the stock market, real estate or other financial vehicles might suffer due to a financial crisis, or a supply chain shutdown can cause debt to cascade in times of pandemic (such as the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak) or due to oil price fluctuations. In any of these situations, a bankruptcy attorney can help you find the best course of action.
Not sure what to ask a bankruptcy lawyer? Here are a few sample questions to get you started:
How long have you been in practice?
How many bankruptcy cases have you handled?
How much does a bankruptcy filing cost? How much of that cost is attorney fees vs. filing fees?
How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
Do you know the judge or prosecutor in this case?
Should I take this case to mediation?
What are your legal fees and expenses?
Are you available after hours for questions?
Which lawyers or associates will I be dealing with?
Do I have to appear in person for my case?
Where is your Texas law office located?
Some people find a lawyer based on a recommendation from a friend or family member but you should do your own evaluation. A friend who suggested a divorce attorney may not be in the best position to recommend a criminal defense law attorney or tax lawyer. Dealing with legal issues can be complicated and frustrating. You should find the right lawyer that you can connect with to provide you with information, advice, and the legal aid you need.
The cost of hiring a lawyer can depend on the type of law and the complexity of the case. Some lawyers offer a free initial consultation. A free consultation is more common in contingency fee cases like personal injury or medical malpractice. Some lawyers may require a fee for the initial interview. During the initial interview, the lawyer may be able to provide some important information, including your legal options, likely outcomes, and cost of legal services. An initial interview is also an opportunity for you to see if this person is the right lawyer for you.
The State Bar of Texas keeps Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct records of violations or grievances against attorneys in the state. You can use the search tool on the state bar website to check an attorney's public disciplinary history. The state bar search results should show the lawyer's disciplinary history (if any) in Texas and other states.