The financial meltdown is a part of life that afflicts millions of people every year. If struggling to pay debts, let alone meet basic financial needs, then it may be wise to consider filing for bankruptcy. Determining whether Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is right for you is only the first step. Contacting a bankruptcy lawyer is usually next; but naturalness with the question of: which one?
Filling for bankruptcy is a significant undertaking. It requires excellent advice and the right representation to ensure the entire process runs smoothly.
We care about our customers and sending them to the right bankruptcy attorney is the least we can do to increase the chances of a better outcome in times of financial distress.
Below are some of the items we look for when selecting a bankruptcy attorney for our clients.
Bankruptcy filing requires accurate representation and no better way to achieve this than settling for a professional legal mind. An attorney who is a member of a reputable body such as the National Association and Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys meets this threshold most of the time.
Certification is of utmost importance if one is to end up with the right representation in the bankruptcy process. By visiting a state bar’s website, you can ascertain whether a bankruptcy lawyer in question holds the proper credentials for the task ahead. These platforms also provide a way to find whether a lawyer has reprimands or misconduct in their record.
Additionally, certification indicates whether an attorney has been practicing law for a minimum number of years. In this case, one would also be able to find out how much time they have spent working on bankruptcy cases.
These credentials and certifications provide assurances that one has the practical knowledge to represent the interest of a client through the treacherous bankruptcy process.
Receiving a referral when in search of a bankruptcy attorney is very helpful, it can be hard to determine their quality from just that. Everyone’s experiences are different. Reviews can often be the best way for you to find an attorney that fits you and your needs the best.
We look for two specific things when it comes to reviews. First, the number of reviews, because the more people that leave reviews, most often means that more people are using the services. Of course, the next thing would be the ratings of those reviews. If a bankruptcy attorney has many reviews and good ratings on them, this is a good sign.
An experienced lawyer would make a big difference coming out of a bankruptcy process unscathed. Going with an attorney with years of experience handling tons of cases around Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is the way to go.
You do not want to end up with a lawyer who is good at pushing clients to Chapter 13, while Chapter 7 is the best option in their situation. This is why we provide our own calculators for Chapter 7 and 13 to give you a preliminary idea of what might be best for you. This can further serve you as a guide in choosing a bankruptcy attorney.
However, many years of practice does not make one a good bankruptcy attorney. A competent bankruptcy attorney is one who is smart, hardworking, and mentored by experienced attorneys in the business. They must have won most of the cases or led to favorable decisions in favor of their clients.
When selecting a bankruptcy attorney for our clients, we also take into consideration the potential costs of the entire process. Attorney fees are of great importance to ensure one does not plunge into additional debts in the form of attorney’s fees. Bankruptcy fees vary depending on the attorney pursuing the case as well as whether one is going for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 closing.
While cheap is not always the best option, high fees, on the other hand, does not always correlate to better representation. Striking a balance between cost and the kind of representation one needs is of great importance for a better outcome.
When determining whether a bankruptcy attorney is right for you, there are three aspects to the importance of reliability in making the right choice.
Ability to Discuss Alternate Solutions
An ethical bankruptcy lawyer is one who is willing to discuss all the available options as part of the bankruptcy process. With each case, an attorney should be able to weigh and present all the available options.
Some cases do call for paying all your bills to avoid bankruptcy if one is making good money. While other situations call for doing nothing in case one does not have anything creditors can take.
A competent bankruptcy lawyer should thus be aware of all the available solutions and be ready to share them with their client.
Passion for the Process
Nobody would wish to deal with a bankruptcy lawyer who appears to be aloof or out of touch with the predicament at hand. A passionate attorney would go a long way in calming the nerves of a client and affirming confidence that everything will pan out well.
A genuine bankruptcy lawyer will always exude confidence and passion for the work at hand. Such lawyers find bankruptcy cases fascinating and are always ready to go the extra mile to ensure a better outcome for their clients, given the favorable rewards on offer.
An Understanding Attorney
Most people turn to bankruptcy when everything has failed and there is nothing else they can do to settle their debts. In such times of pain and anguish, it is important to end up with an attorney who understands the severity of the issue at hand.
Given the emotions involved, a bankruptcy lawyer should be in a position to understand the specific situation. They should be able to position themselves to ask the most difficult questions while still showing empathy.
The lawyer should also be able to provide clear and concise answers as well. Some of the key questions to ask at the first meeting include an attorney’s success rate as well as the delivery time on a given case. It will also be important to know how available the attorney is and who will be the primary contact.
If you do not feel comfortable with a lawyer at the first meeting, it would be wise to look for another one.
A better and easy way of ending up with the right bankruptcy lawyer is by talking to people who have experienced the same issue. Referrals provide an easy way of understanding a given attorney’s strength and weaknesses. If you speak to more than a half a dozen people, you are sure to end up with a good lead.
There are also online services that offer an easy way of connecting with some of the best legal minds for bankruptcy proceedings. Customer reviews in such platforms would go a long way in helping one pick an attorney suited for a given issue.
When in financial hardship, finding someone you trust as a bankruptcy attorney can make bearing the burden a little easier.