You’ve decided to file bankruptcy. Making that decision has probably brought you some relief. Now that you’re taking steps to secure your future, it’s time to get your ducks in a row and find the right counsel.
A bankruptcy lawyer can help you deal with the process and reach the most favorable outcome. You’ll save time, money and grief in the long run with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. But, of course, you’ll need to select the right one.
Don’t leave the results of your bankruptcy filing up to chance. Follow these five savvy tips when looking for the best bankruptcy attorney.
1. It Begins with Communication
You’ll be coming to and talking to your bankruptcy attorney a lot. You need someone you feel comfortable working with on a regular basis. The best way to determine if a lawyer is a good fit for your situation is to setup a free consultation.
When you connect with the law office, take in the whole picture. Is the administrative staff friendly and professional? Does the attorney have time to answer your questions or do you feel as if you’re being rushed?
Overall, you want an attorney who is open, congenial, professional and knowledgeable. If they’re unwilling to share information or don’t take your time seriously, chances are that won’t change once you start working together.
2. Seek Out the Specialists
Bankruptcy law isn’t common knowledge. If it were, we’d all just file our own cases and get on with it. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of bankruptcy law especially as it pertains to your area and case.
As you meet with attorneys during the initial consultation, get information about the areas they specialize in and their experience. After all, this is your livelihood and future we’re talking about. You want a lawyer who practices bankruptcy law for a living, not side hobby.
3. Look for Credible Resources
Friends and family can be sources of credible referrals. But you may want to keep your situation as private as possible and that is understandable. And those referrals may be based on personal rather than professional knowledge of the attorney. Start with your local State Bar Association to find out who practices bankruptcy law in your area.
You may also consult your local bankruptcy court for more information. Keep in mind that the lists of practicing lawyers may be quite long, but you’ll be able to narrow them down by scheduling a handful of consultations.
4. Consider the Costs
A word to the wise: cheapest isn’t always best even when filing bankruptcy. Of course, you want to be conservative with your expenses but rock-bottom prices may point to bottom-of-the-barrel practices.
Be sure to determine whether you’d prefer working with a big or small law firm. You may find attorneys who charge by the hour or provide a flat rate for their services.
5. Use the Internet Wisely
The internet is a convenient place to get information about attorneys and reviews. That’s why you’re here, of course. However, it’s loaded with misinformation, making it a not so great place to prepare your own bankruptcy filing.
Seek out credible sources to get the information you need and then find an attorney to help you move forward.
Tyler, Bartl & Ramsdell, P.L.C. offers free consultations to individuals looking for more information about filing bankruptcy. Our firm has helped thousands of clients get back on their feet for a firmer financial ground. To discuss the best way to proceed, give us a call at 703.549.5001 today.