When to Consult a Bankruptcy Attorney

Ferguson & Ferguson

Attorneys at Law

April 11th, 2016

When do I need to consult with an attorney about bankruptcy options?


This is a question we get daily at Ferguson and Ferguson. The answer is simply sooner rather than later. Typically a bankruptcy consultation is a free consultation so you lose nothing but an hour or so of your time to go in and get some information. There are several events that should lead you to seek legal advice.

1.  The most important time to contact a bankruptcy attorney is when you have been sued. Typically you have about 60 to 90 days to act once a lawsuit begins. However if you don’t file an answer to the lawsuit, that window drops to 30 days or less. Once a creditor in a lawsuit gets a judgment against you the liens begin to be filed against your property and wages and bank accounts start being garnished.

2. The second clue you need to consult an attorney is when they pick up your vehicle. Once a vehicle is repossessed the creditor, within a few weeks, sells it for pennies on the dollar and then comes knocking at your door with their hand held out.

3. A third situation necessitating a bankruptcy consultation is a foreclosure on your home. Normally your first mortgage company comes in and sells your house on the courthouse steps for what is owed on the mortgage, if they can get that. However rarely does the first mortgage company pursue you if they don’t get the full amount. But the second mortgage or HELOC will be on you quickly for what you owe them.

4. Another setting when a trip to a bankruptcy attorney is advisable is when the government comes knocking. This could be for income taxes, pastdue child support or government-backed student loans. All three of these type of debts are rarely dischargeable in bankruptcy but may be addressed by filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The government can often jump levying against your property or garnishing your wages or bank account due to the nature of the debt.

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive. Each of these situations should be a heads up to you as to the need to get some professional advice from bankruptcy attorney. If you have questions, call bankruptcy attorney Jackie Ferguson Graham now. Call 256-534-3435. We can help.