If you’re under financial pressure to sell your home, first get legal advice about your options. Because you need it. And it’s free.
When it comes to selling your home, it is only sensible to know all your available options before you act. That’s especially true if you’d rather not sell the home, but are doing so because you believe you have no choice.
This is the last in a series of blogs about why you should get advice from a bankruptcy attorney before rushing to sell your home. Review the last several blogs to see how the bankruptcy laws can save you tremendous amounts of money and give you tools to do what would otherwise be impossible, with you house and otherwise.
So maybe there ARE some better options. You may be able to keep your home, or to sell it when it’s better for you and your family to do so.
Not Being Able to Afford an Attorney
If you are under serious pressure from creditors, you would be quite sensible to assume that you could not afford to pay for an attorney to get legal advice about your options. But that is not true, because, as you may have seen in this website and others, many attorneys provide a free consultation meeting just for that purpose. I do myself. If you live in the Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs, Palm Desert. Cathedral City, Indio or La Quinta, you can get up to an hour of my time with no obligation to help you figure out what you should do.
But Isn’t There a Catch?
You may also sensibly figure that you don’t get something for nothing. So you think there’s got to be a catch. You may wonder if you’ll be forced to hire the attorney you meet with, and to do what he or she tells you to do, such as to file bankruptcy.
But the truth is that all licensed attorneys are ethically and legally bound to provide accurate legal advice to their clients. What is often misunderstood is that this is true regardless whether or not you are paying the attorney for that advice. For an attorney to advise you to take some action—such as to file a certain type of bankruptcy—if that is not in your own best interest could both jeopardize that attorney’s license to practice law and expose him to a malpractice lawsuit.
Similarly, the decision whether or not you should file bankruptcy, or pursue any other legal option, is one that an attorney cannot legally or ethically make for you. He or she can make recommendations, and show the benefits and detriments of certain options, but in the end it’s your decision. If you ever feel pushed against your will into any decision by any attorney, stop working with him or her.
Still, How Can Attorneys Not Charge for the Consultation Meeting?
The reason that attorneys find it worthwhile to provide free initial consultations is that, because of the population of people who see bankruptcy attorneys, and the benefits provided by bankruptcy law, a certain percentage of these consultations WILL result in the client deciding to hire them, soon or later, for filing bankruptcy or some other purpose. For the attorneys it’s a combination of sensible marketing and public service. Personally, I find that the more people I touch with sound advice, the more paying clients I’ll get. If it isn’t the person I originally meet with, it is with that person’s neighbor, colleague, family member or friend.
The Good Result for You
The bottom line for you is that this gives you the opportunity to get valuable legal advice for free.
You DO need to be a careful consumer, as with any important purchase decision. Use the initial meeting to gauge whether the attorney appears knowledgeable, trustworthy, and approachable. Does the attorney take the time to understand your situation, and are your questions answered clearly? Is the attorney respectful of you? Do you feel comfortable with the attorney and others in his or her office?
If you are very comfortable with the first attorney you meet with, fine, but otherwise be prepared to take the time to meet with one or even two others. Your time is valuable, but this effort is worthwhile considering what is at stake. Besides likely being your biggest asset, your home also your biggest debt. Instead of making decisions about it in the dark, you deserve to have the best possible game plan for it.