If you are considering filing for bankruptcy but are unsure whether you should do so, you should consider the following.

First, you should meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will determine your objectives and evaluate whether there are alternatives to filing bankruptcy and, if bankruptcy is the best option, how to go about doing so.

A skilled bankruptcy lawyer will have a proven track record of negotiating mortgage, student loan, and tax obligations and a proven track record of litigating challenges against mortgage companies, student loan agencies and federal, state and local tax agencies.

If a bankruptcy filing is necessary, the skilled bankruptcy lawyer will explain the bankruptcy process to you in an understandable manner and will assist you in preparing a bankruptcy petition, numerous schedules that list all your assets, debts, monthly income and expenses, and a statement of your financial history.  The petition, schedules and statement will be filed with the bankruptcy court and will allow the court, a trustee, and your creditors to determine if you qualify for rights that you seek.

To locate a skilled bankruptcy lawyer, you should conduct research by Internet and make inquires of lawyers that you know who may not practice in the bankruptcy arena. You should focus your search for bankruptcy lawyers in the geographic area where you reside.

You should also investigate the lawyer’s credentials, including the number of years he or she has been in practice and whether he or she has significant trial experience, as a lawyer’s experience level will will often impact the extent of the benefits that you will get by filing for bankruptcy.

Specifically, you should investigate non-biased peer and client reviews of the lawyer on Internet sites such as Avvo.com or Martindale Hubbell.

Once you have located an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your geographic area, you should meet with the lawyer to determine that you are comfortable with him or her.  Most lawyers will not charge for the initial consultation.

You should not use the services of an attorney who will not meet with you face-to-face or who has limited experience exploring and pursuing non-bankruptcy alternatives or who has limited trial experience.

I have engaged in practice for over 35 years and have extensive experience in negotiating non-bankruptcy and bankruptcy solutions. I also have extensive trial experience, as shown by my reported cases.  While I practice throughout Pennsylvania,  my home base is in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Luzerne, Lackawanna and Monroe Counties, and the Cities of Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Stroudsburg.

If you wish to discuss non-bankruptcy and bankruptcy solutions that may be helpful to you, please call me at (570) 823-9400 or send an e-mail at dh@lawofficeofdavidharris.com.