Most people do not think they will ever file for bankruptcy until they have to. In today’s economy, it is nothing to be ashamed of. In many instances, it is the best way to restore your credit. If you want to file for bankruptcy, you should really sit down and talk to a few bankruptcy attorneys. People who receive legal help from a bankruptcy attorney succeed about 95% of the time when they file chapter 7 bankruptcy, that number goes down significantly for people who go it alone.
5 Tips for Finding the Right Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy:
- Talk to attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. The law is a lot like medicine. You want someone who specializes in bankruptcy not divorce or something else. In the same way you would not go to a cardiologist for a broken bone, you need to make sure the lawyer you see is experienced in this kind of law. The rules and regulations that govern bankruptcy filings changes all of the time so you need them to have people keeping up on all of the changes. If you can find an attorney who has been certified by the American Board of Certification, so much the better.
- Look at the pros and cons of going with a large vs. a small firm. They both have good points and bad points of each. If you go to a big firm, there is a good chance that you will end up paying more because they have more overhead but they may have the ins and outs of the bankruptcy system down pat. With a team of attorneys at their beck and call this may be a quicker resolution. A smaller law firm may give you more individual attention and that may be a good thing. Of course, the opposite could be true. The small law firm may have a better handle on bankruptcy filings and the larger one may have more attorneys to pay you attention. At the end of the day, you should go with the firm that makes you the most comfortable.
- Use the State Bar Association as a Resource. Every state in the nation has one and they should be able to point you in the right direction for good bankruptcy lawyers. If you go to their websites, you should find referral sites and the like. You can also see if there have been any complaints against any lawyers you are looking to hire.
- Check with the NACBA. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) is the professional association for this kind of lawyer. They have a number of resources available for people who are in a lot of debt. It is a very reputable organization that may be able to steer you in the right direction to find a good bankruptcy lawyer. If your lawyer belongs to NACBA, that is a very good thing.
- Take advantage of their free consultation. All law firms offer a free first consultation to potential clients. Use this as a chance to get to know them and get some feedback on your case. You should talk to at least a few attorneys. Ask them how long they have been working with bankruptcy cases and why they picked this speciality. Many attorneys do not enough cases in one area to only practice that kind of law so ask them how much of their time is spent on bankruptcy cases and how much is on other things. Ask them who will be working on your case, whatever you want to ask about the process and how long they expect it to take. You should go over their fee structure as well. Lastly, they do not have to become your best friend but you should have some rapport with them.
Filing for bankruptcy is a very stressful process. It is long and painful and is something most people never want to have to do. It really can get people back on the road to financial solvency and is not the end of the world, nor is it an admission of failure. Talk to a good lawyer and they can make the process a lot easier and less painful.