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How to Choose a Bankruptcy Attorney

Updated on March 4, 2014
by lydiacarsonlaw
by lydiacarsonlaw

Filing bankruptcy is a major step and you want to make sure you choose the right attorney to help you along the way, but how do you do that?  Should you just close your eyes and poke your finger at the name of an attorney in the phone book?  That’s probably not the best way to pick out the person who will help you with such an important matter as your financial future.  Here’s a few suggestions for choosing a bankruptcy attorney that will meet all your needs. 

Look for an Experienced Bankruptcy Specialist

Not every lawyer is right for every legal case.  Like doctors, lawyers have chosen fields to specialize in…fields like corporate law, tax law, criminal defense and many others.  When you are considering filing bankruptcy, you want an attorney that specializes in that field.  An experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area will understand the complexity of bankruptcy laws and have up-to-the minute knowledge of the local rules.  They are familiar with the area credit attorneys.  They will be much better prepared to help you than Cousin Joe, the estate planning attorney two counties away.

Choose a Respected Bankruptcy Attorney

You want to find a knowledgeable attorney who has earned the respect of his colleagues and clients.  You want your lawyer to have a record of successful bankruptcy filings.  When interviewing prospective attorneys, don’t be afraid to ask direct questions.  Find out how many bankruptcies they have filed and ask for references.  A reputable attorney will be happy to provide them.

Consider Cost

You’re already struggling financially, so naturally your first instinct is to choose the lowest price attorney available.  This is the person who is handling your immediate financial future, however, so you don’t want to base your entire decision on cost.  The lowest price attorneys may be inexperienced or try to make up lost revenue by delivering quantity of filings rather than quality filings.  Be sure to consider all aspects in your decision.

Free Initial Consultation

Most attorneys who care about their clients will offer a free initial consultation.  Not only is this an opportunity for you to learn more about the bankruptcy process, it is a good time to learn more about your lawyer.  Is he willing to answer questions?  Does she and her staff treat you with courtesy and respect?  Do you feel comfortable talking with him?  Remember, bankruptcy is a personal issue.  You need to be able to feel confidence and trust in the lawyer you choose to handle your situation. 

Will They Help Restore Your Credit?

A good bankruptcy attorney will have the tools necessary to help you get started on the right financial foot after your bankruptcy.  He will be able to dispute erroneous credit reports or write letters to creditors. 

Choosing your bankruptcy attorney is an important decision.  Remember, you don’t have to settle for an attorney who does not make your needs a priority. 

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