No two bankruptcies are exactly the same. Your financial situation may require a totally different bankruptcy than someone else’s and that is why it’s important to find the best bankruptcy attorney for your situation. Not only is finding a good bankruptcy attorney good for your stress level, but it will make the process smoother for you. Think of it this way, if a mistake is made by your attorney on the official bankruptcy paperwork then your case could be completely thrown out or sent back to the beginning of the process. Here are just a few tips (in no particular order) on how to find the right bankruptcy attorney for you.
- Online Research – We are living in the internet age so take advantage of it! Just do a simple search for your zip code and the words “bankruptcy attorney” and see what comes up. Be sure to read reviews if they are available and check the Better Business Bureau if that is applicable.
- Friends & Family Recommendations – Ask those people in your life that you trust if they have ever had to file a bankruptcy and whether or not they would recommend their attorney. Make sure to ask questions about how long their case took to file and exactly what characteristics they liked or did not like about their previous lawyer.
- Local Bar Association – If you do not know anyone in your area who has filed bankruptcy then make a quick phone call to your local bar association (phone number can be found in the yellow pages or online) and ask them to provide you with a list of attorney’s in your area that specialize in bankruptcy.
- Consultations – Once you have done your research, asked friends and family, or contacted the local bar associations begin making phone calls to request a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Take notes during these consultations and make sure to have specific questions for them such as “which chapter of bankruptcy do you file more often” or “what is your typical timeline?” You will also want to jot down exactly how much the bankruptcy attorney charges and what kind of payment arrangements can be made. Some bankruptcy lawyers prefer to be paid up front, while others offer monthly payment plans.
The bottom line is that only you can decide which bankruptcy is right for your situation. Just remember that whoever you choose will be with you throughout the process and be the person you should turn to when you have questions. Bankruptcy is a complex legal procedure and having a lawyer you are comfortable with can really make a difference.