A price structure that considers the difficulties of your bankruptcy case is something to look for along with specialized certification. Your bankruptcy lawyer will represent you and lead you through the occasionally perplexing procedure. Making the effort to speak with a few attorneys and being aware of what to look for will put you on the right track for a successful bankruptcy case.
Look for experience, a reasonable price, and a communication style that seems comfortable to you when choosing an attorney to assist you in filing your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Ask your friends, family, or own attorney for personal recommendations if you need help finding a local bankruptcy lawyer.
Several web directories claim to be able to assist you in finding a bankruptcy attorney nearby. But keep in mind that many of these directories merely offer a list of attorneys in exchange for payment and don’t provide a warranty of excellence. Examine every listing you come across with a critical eye.
You can search the results for lawyers who specialize in bankruptcy on the ABA website, which identifies lawyers and companies that adhere to its guidelines for a lawyer referral. The bar organization for your state is another place to look for nearby resources.
Ask friends and coworkers
For recommendations in addition to these directories, if you feel comfortable doing so. Make contact with a few lawyers who seem competent, and schedule consultations with each of them. Some lawyers offer no-cost consultations, while others will charge about $35 for this first encounter. Contrary to popular belief, free consultations can help you become comfortable interviewing lawyers and may even lead you to the one you end up choosing.
Understanding the bankruptcy statute thoroughly and having the experience to know how to apply it are two prerequisites for success. Your case can be dismissed due to a submitted form being incomplete or a deadline is missed. Finding a specialist is crucial for this reason.
As the executive director of the NACBA, Dan LA Bert argues, “Going with an attorney who is not specialized in bankruptcy can be quite harmful because they might not understand how to read this intricate section of the law.” “If you had a heart condition, you wouldn’t go to a dermatologist.” Inquire about any specialized education or experience the attorneys you contact have.
Though generally speaking, a Chapter 13 petition will cost more than a Chapter 7 filing, there is no “correct” amount that a bankruptcy practitioner should charge. The cost varies depending on the case and the state.
For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should budget between $500 and $3,500, and for a Chapter 13, between $1,500 and $6,000, according to LA Bert. The likelihood of cost increases with the complexity of the case. During your initial talk, enquire about the attorney’s fee schedule and make sure you are aware of the services that are included.
The most crucial factor, according to California bankruptcy lawyer Cathy Moran, is making sure you’re getting your money’s worth for your particular circumstance. When choosing a bankruptcy attorney, Moran advises that you should be aware of what’s at stake for you. “You can select a Smart Car or Ford Escort if you don’t have many assets and little to lose.
Ask yourself if you feel comfortable being candid with the attorney before hiring them. According to Moran, “I think that the quality of the communication is vital because if you don’t feel comfortable as the client… revealing what you’re worried about, if you hide secrets, it will be a deal breaker for your case.” Moran asserts that she would “have no means of knowing if my and your appraisal of the problem is correct” without having access to all of your information.
Working to ensure you can receive the greatest deal for your condition is a critical task for you and your bankruptcy attorney. That will need difficult conversations, so a commitment to open communication will be helpful.
Throughout your search, keep these criteria in mind and take your time. Don’t be tempted to forego legal representation even though it can be difficult to find the best one for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. LA Bert says, alluding to the legal word for representing yourself, “pro se, no way,” for bankruptcy.
He and Moran both concur that bankruptcy law is too complex for the average person to understand on their own, or at the very least, too complex to do so successfully.
This broad question will allow the lawyer to demonstrate his knowledge of the subject and professional experience. It also demonstrates whether the lawyer is inclined to find a solution without first comprehending the issue. The lawyer might make remarks on Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy choices after outlining the alternatives. The overview you want should be simple to grasp and include a clear explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of each solution.
Even if a person has practiced law for 40 years. It’s possible that they haven’t filed many bankruptcy cases.
Many clients may consider this issue to be the deciding factor, and with good reason. Instead of sentimental catchphrases like “we’re the best” or “we are highly trustworthy,” you should be seeking specific, verifiable information. Looking for hazards (and opportunities) outside the typical tasks of an attorney and having the knowledge and capabilities to take advantage of crucial situations are what set average lawyers apart from exceptional ones.
Paralegals and legal assistants frequently get involved to handle the most routine tasks, with the attorney stepping in to review the case’s most crucial components. Although this can appear impersonal to you, it helps to keep prices down.