Five Things To Look For In a Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, hiring a competent bankruptcy lawyer is your best chance for a successful result. Although it is possible to file for bankruptcy without employing an attorney, doing so is not recommended.
“Filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 requires meticulous preparation and knowledge of legal issues,” the court system says.
Your rights may be harmed if you misunderstand the law or make errors throughout the procedure. The legislation prohibits court staff and bankruptcy judges from providing legal advice.”
A bankruptcy attorney may help you in a variety of ways
The following are some examples of how a bankruptcy attorney might justify their hiring:
- Assisting you in deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy in the first place.
- Advising you on the kind of bankruptcy to file (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common).
- Advising you on which properties you may be able to keep.
- Provide feedback on the tax implications you’ll encounter.
- Advising you on whether or not you should keep paying your creditors.
As you look for a bankruptcy attorney to represent you, keep the following points in mind.
1. Find an expert
Lawyers operate in various fields, but your best option is to choose someone who specializes in bankruptcy law. Attorneys who do a little bit of everything are unlikely to be familiar with the nuances of bankruptcy law or to be up to date on the most recent legal developments in this field.
It’s a positive indication if you’re a member of organizations like the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
2. Select an attorney with sufficient experience
Inquire about a lawyer’s degree of experience. It is not always true that someone with more experience is more prepared than someone with fewer years of experience. What matters is the number of successful bankruptcy cases they’ve handled.
“There are some lawyers who have practiced bankruptcy law for many years but have never really grasped the subject,” the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) warns. Other lawyers have followed a broad practice, submitting cases now and then. If they’ve been practicing for 25 years but don’t have much bankruptcy experience, it doesn’t mean they have the skills you require.”
3. Look for bankruptcy lawyers who are familiar with the area
Apart from bankruptcy rules, the attorney should be acquainted with the local legislation of the court where your bankruptcy case will be filed. Bankruptcy processes differ from one location to the next.
That’s why you should seek a bankruptcy lawyer that has worked in the area where you’re filing. They can help you by using their expertise in local court processes and people.
4. Stay away from bankruptcy mills
Companies are known as “bankruptcy mills” handle huge numbers of cases without paying attention to the details of each client’s case. Attorneys who use such an assembly-line approach should be avoided.
There are also “petition preparers” who have not licensed lawyers who will just fill out your bankruptcy papers. They won’t be able to provide you legal advice or guide you through the bankruptcy procedure. Also, be cautious about employing them.
5. It all boils down to your degree of comfort
You should choose a bankruptcy attorney with whom you are at ease. Look for someone who will take the time to listen to you and learn the details of your case so that they can best understand and represent you.
Don’t make a choice simply based on cost. If you pay a competent lawyer their standard fee, you may save money if they effectively defend you. Someone who charges a cheap fee may be taking shortcuts, resulting in a negative outcome in your bankruptcy case.
Request recommendations from friends and family, as well as doing your internet research. The NACBA may also be of assistance. Hopefully, this information will assist you in locating a bankruptcy attorney that will suit your requirements and help you achieve a favorable result in your case.