Preparing to file for bankruptcy is a complicated process. It has the potential to be very confusing, frustrating and expensive. Make a misstep anywhere and you could be putting yourself right back into a financially devastating situation. You need a professional on your side to help you understand what’s going on, and assist you in making informed decisions. For these reasons and many others, it’s important to know how to choose a bankruptcy lawyer.
The first step in finding a bankruptcy attorney is contacting your local bar association for recommendations. Bankruptcy is its own unique branch of the law field, with complex laws and regulations. Most lawyers simply don’t have the expertise to handle bankruptcy cases. They might not be aware of legal precedents or other features that can help your case, so you’d be doing yourself a disservice by going with a non-specialized lawyer.
Your local bar association will be able to direct you to a bankruptcy lawyer or firm in your area with the necessary credentials and experience to handle your case. You can also find a bankruptcy lawyer online or through other means, and simply check the bar association to make sure their certifications are up to date.
Once you’ve spoken with the bar association, start going down their list of lawyers. Call their offices to set up interviews or phone consultations, and arm yourself with a list of questions. There are quite a few questions you should ask when consulting with your potential bankruptcy lawyer, such as:
* What are your fees?
* How much will the entire process cost?
* What certifications do you have?
* How long will the process take?
* How many bankruptcy cases have you handled?
* Will I be dealing directly with you?
* What should I expect during the process?
Though it’s important to put some effort into choosing your bankruptcy lawyer, it’s also important to choose quickly. Don’t waste time and risk missing crucial dates by worrying about finding the perfect candidate.
Rather than interviewing a dozen different lawyers, it’s usually best to make a list of 3 or 4 recommended candidates. Choose whichever bankruptcy lawyer makes things easy for you to understand, helps you feel comfortable and has the necessary training to handle your case efficiently. The sooner you find the right bankruptcy lawyer, the sooner your life will be back on track.