What to Consider When Choosing a Bankruptcy Attorney?
If you’re considering bankruptcy as an option, it means you’ve hit rock bottom with your finances. Bankruptcy is something that affects numerous individuals. When faced with this possibility, seeking legal representation from the respected attorneys at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can help you navigate the process smoothly.
For many people who find themselves in a situation where they have to consider bankruptcy as an option, they usually don’t see it coming. For example, they may have trouble paying their bills. However, unpaid debts will eventually pile up as overwhelming, putting a person in an incredibly precarious financial position.
Bankruptcy provides legal protection against some, if not all, debts from creditors. An individual or entity facing severe financial hardship may file for bankruptcy. The protection provided by bankruptcy law comes in the form of court orders.
Although a person can file for bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney, it is always advisable to seek legal advice before doing so. Simply being in a difficult financial situation does not guarantee that a bankruptcy petition will be granted. In fact, a significant number of bankruptcy petitions filed without the assistance of an attorney are dismissed by the court. This is why it is always recommended to seek a bankruptcy attorney when considering such a procedure.
Finding the Best Bankruptcy Attorney for Your Case
For most people, finding a bankruptcy attorney means going online and finding an attorney near their location. In extreme cases, a person simply types bankruptcy attorney near me into a search engine bar and clicks on the first hit. This is a mistake because an attorney’s excellent online ranking does not guarantee their competence or suitability for your case. You should do your due diligence and vet any such attorney before hiring them.
To find a bankruptcy attorney:
i) Ask for recommendations or referrals from friends and family. If someone you know is going through the bankruptcy process or knows someone who is, they will likely recommend an attorney handling such a case if the outcome is good. To get recommendations from people you know, go online and search for a list of bankruptcy lawyers in your city.
ii) Make a list of attorneys from your online searches (and recommendations from family and friends), make appointments with several of them to assess each one’s potential to handle your case. During such a meeting, you want to learn as much as possible about each bankruptcy attorney. Ask about details like their practice area, size of their law firm, their legal fees, whether they have handled a case similar to yours, etc.
iii) Use all the information you gather to narrow down your list. Look for things like personality and approach to help you narrow down this list. For example, during the appointment, did you meet with the actual attorney or paralegal? An attorney who doesn’t bother showing up for an appointment with a potential client can be difficult to work with on the line. Look for things like these to help narrow down your list.
What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Attorney
Aside from the little things like showing up for an appointment, you want a bankruptcy attorney who has specific characteristics. These features include:
Experiencing financial problems that lead to bankruptcy proceedings can take their toll on people. In tough times like these, the last thing you need is a bankruptcy attorney who has no sympathy for your case. As much as possible, always go for bankruptcy lawyers who are empathetic while representing their clients. A compassionate attorney is better suited to provide you with sound legal guidance throughout the bankruptcy process.
Be sure to check the basics like an attorney’s credentials and whether they are licensed to practice law in that particular jurisdiction. Next, you want to make sure they have the necessary experience to handle your case. It is not advisable to hire the first attorney who appears legitimate because they are a law school graduate. You want to make sure that the person you choose has experience helping you navigate bankruptcy proceedings, some of which can become complex.
Reputation is the key. You want a bankruptcy attorney who has a positive record of dealing with clients. Typically, an attorney’s website will have testimonials and reviews from past clients. If you find such an attorney through your own search, it helps to check out their site for any reviews. This will give you a better idea of how your case will be handled.
Ultimately, you want a bankruptcy attorney who exhibits all of these qualities in addition to professionalism.