Bankruptcy lawyers often benefit from a tough economy, but their clients, many of whom know little about the process and have even less time to research it, are usually lost when it comes to seeking the help of an expert. With creditors closing in and desperation and despair mounting, many people foolishly select a bankruptcy lawyer based on price, an advertisement or no criteria at all. Selecting the right person or firm to handle your bankruptcy can mean the difference between an eventual rebound and long-term pain. If you’re considering bankruptcy, here are some things to consider when searching for a bankruptcy lawyer.
It’s a simple fact that cost will be a key element for most people when it comes to hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. After all, money is at the root of this particular problem. Fortunately, most bankruptcy lawyers use relatively standard agreements for a basic Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The flat fee should include consultation with the client and analysis of the financial situation; preparation of the bankruptcy petition; reviewing the petition with the client; attendance at the meeting of creditors and follow-ups with creditors, such as taking action to halt any post-filing collection efforts, if the need should arise.
Technically, any lawyer can handle a bankruptcy case, but in practice, only those who often handle bankruptcy cases are worth using. There is a risk involved in going to an inexperienced attorney! Clients also shouldn’t necessarily use the length of an attorney’s career as an indicator of their expertise. What really matters is: What percentage of the lawyer’s practice constitutes bankruptcy and how many cases has the lawyer filed? Or simply, make sure you talk to a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy cases.
The Right Fit for You
Regardless of the bankruptcy lawyer’s experience or cost, it’s important that they are the right fit for you and your needs. They will be representing you after all. You want someone you feel you can have an open line of communication with and who can help you understand the process. Filing for bankruptcy is stressful enough, you don’t want to feel hesitant about asking your bankruptcy lawyer questions, because you feel you might be “bothering” them. This will only add to your stress.
Make sure the bankruptcy lawyer you choose exhibits a desire to understand your specific situation and ultimate goals. If they will not listen to your problems and answer your specific questions, they might not have your best interests at heart. It can be difficult to figure all this out after a brief consultation, so don’t be afraid to ask for references from their previous clients or see if they have positive reviews online and “thank you notes” posted around their offices from satisfied clients.
If you’re considering bankruptcy, we’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation! Request an appointment today.