Simply because you're in debt doesn't mean your company isn't valuable. Picking the right attorney over the wrong attorney often means thousands of extra discharged debts, reduced Chapter 13 payments, along with a whole couple of saved stress in dealing with attorneys - who are able to sometimes be difficult personalities.
You deserve great customer service much like other people. Just like any business, some firms do it better than others.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a personal bankruptcy attorney:
- Experience - Experience could be a double edged sword when selecting a bankruptcy attorney. On the one hand, experience means there can be less
On the other hand, in case your option is made solely on experience you still may not be obtaining a good attorney. Experience doesn't invariably mean the lawyer always did the bankruptcy correctly. Actually, some experienced attorneys know where they are able to scrimp better, and therefore are less concerned with their legal service and customer support than a new attorney trying to prove themselves.
If you happen to possess a complex matter, or will need to file a Chapter 13, then making sure the attorney has been doing a minimum of a few Chapter 13s is essential. Chapter 13 bankruptcies could be complex and can be screwed up commonly by rookie attorneys. Let others be their guinea pigs, and politely find another attorney.
- Cost - The most common question I get from new clients is "what does it cost?" For individuals in crushing debt, cost seems like the most important factor in hiring the attorney, but I urge most clients to view cost as a non-factor.
First, when you decide you will be filing for bankruptcy, the only real time you may want to do an urgent situation filing is if your vehicle or home will be repossessed/foreclosed on. So other than perhaps your car and home payments, other debts can go completely unpaid. Never pay another dime in it. This could usually free up enough money to pay for an attorney over a repayment plan of a few months prior to filing.
Should you be worried about cost in advance, then you will be looking for the cheapest an attorney will go - and if a lawyer's feature is when much they can undercut everybody else as their customer support and skill can't back it up. Personally, i am not the cheapest attorney in town, and I never desire to be. More expensive attorneys may have better customer support, are often a joy to work with, and therefore are attentive to inquiries. Since I are more expensive, I do everything I'm able to to ensure I earn it - with better customer service, meticulous legal work, and when something does fail, I make sure it gets fixed. Less expensive attorneys are usually unresponsive, do not get back to you when called, don't care if they screw up, and therefore are difficult to deal with.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, then you can probably call your local county bar association, many have bankruptcy clinics, and if you qualify, you can find a pro-bono attorney.
- Personality - Probably the biggest thing you ought to be looking for is the personality of the attorney. Happy attorneys tend to be more fun to work with and tend to execute a better job overall. Why? Because they've built their business properly. They've systems in position that make sure the work is done correctly every single time and within the most organized possible way. Meaning they can handle a bigger caseload with fewer mistakes.
We all have bad days, however the rule of thumb is the fact that successful attorneys are pleased attorney. Bad attorneys generally have more trouble getting business because their personality pushes away customers and makes people not need to cope with them. They have more moody and the cycle continues.
Bankruptcy could take between 8 weeks to some year or even more. You may not want to have to handle a jerk attorney? Personality goes a long way, and you may sometimes tell right in advance whenever you meet them what sort of experience you'll be getting
- Employees - Many people think it's a sign of success if the attorney has employees. A solo attorney doesn't necessarily mean the lawyer isn't good. Employees can be challenging to handle, and some attorneys are perfectionists and refuse to delegate the job to an employee for anxiety about doing it wrong.
Employees don't suggest good or bad service, however. Should there be employees, be sure you ask about them and introduce you to ultimately the paralegal. Standing on good terms with the attorney's staff can perform nothing but benefit you in the future when you have questions and want updates on your case. For many firms, paralegal will do the majority of the operate in a personal bankruptcy. This is not bad, however, you want to ask lots of inquiries to make sure an attorney will actually be supervising and looking total the filings and negotiations if the paralegal is totally new.
- Electronic Filing - Within the new age of computers, electronic filing is essential for just about any attorney who plans on doing lots of bankruptcy work. While electronic filing isn't essential to actually file a bankruptcy case, you might want to be cautious when the attorney doesn't use electronic filing. It probably means that bankruptcy isn't something he/she does regularly, and you may probably find someone more experienced for the same price elsewhere.
Referrals The easiest method to obtain a great attorney is to buy a referral from the friend or relative who has actually done business with the attorney or firm. If they've had a great knowledge about an attorney, then chances are you will to.