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Second opinion on Bankruptcy

I'm wondering if you can give me an unbiased opinion about this question. My husband and I are considering filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. We have a house and some assets that need to be protected but we're not sure if there are options available to us other than bankruptcy. We talked to one bankruptcy lawyer briefly and she said she could do the the filing cheaply but didn't provide a lot of information. Does it make sense to get a second opinion about this type of thing or are we likely to hear the same information twice? Thanks.

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Yes, in bankruptcy matters, as with other important legal decisions, don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion.  You need to find an attorney who has experience, is willing to take the time to explain the process, and--most importantly--can explain to you why bankruptcy makes sense in your particular case.  In some cases, it may not.  Especially in situations where debtors have assets they need to protect (unlike a chapter 7 petition where the debtors may simply want to discharge debt without regard to asset protetion), you need an attorney who has the ability to walk you through all of the options, including non-bankruptcy options, and advise you properly.

When talking to a bankruptcy attorney, you should not be afraid to ask her how many bankruptcies she has handled and to discuss, specifically, what other options you have besides bankruptcy.  Even if you and your husband are good candidates for bankruptcy protection, you need an attorney who can help you make the important decesions that arise in the process, such as whether to use federal or Massachusetts exemptions.  Good luck.

Submitted Wed, 04/30/2014 - 19:05

I would suggest to anyone hiring an attorney for any reason, unless you completely trust that attorney will give you an unbiased opinion about all your options then always get a second opinion. The simple fact is most attorneys like to specialize, or in other words they like to do one thing and one thing only. But in situations such as the one you're describing there may be a number of different solutions that are available to the client. That's why at my law firm we employ the services over a number of different attorneys who handle different fields of law, so I can offer numerous options to a client for the same situation. If you go to someone who only does chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will try to talk you into filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This has been something I have noticed practicing for as many years as I have, that most lawyers will not even advise their clients of options that they do not perform those services for. If there was ever an option that my client could take advantage of, I would give them a referral, the problem is most attorneys will do and say almost about anything to get you as a client. And if any attorney is talking about filing something cheaply, then you're going to get what you pay for, not all attorneys are equal. It's always better to pay an attorney who is more knowledgeable and can give you more options, then simply going to the cheapest price. In fact we do not even quote prices over the phone, because if a client is only concerned with how much they been a pay for the legal services, I would rather them go somewhere else. In law as in anything else in life you get what you pay for.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

Attorneys At Law

Yes, gathering as much information from many sources always helps. Seek out other opinions from different bankruptcy attorneys and other professionals who may deal with personal finances. I cannot answer your question without more information, but you may have other options besides bankruptcy. My first step with clients is to look for alternatives to bankruptcy. If those alternative are not viable then file

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