When you are deeply submerged in debts or behind payment of any kind and want to dig yourself out, the sanest option is getting a bankruptcy attorney, instead of going at it alone. These attorneys serve as lifelines to help guide you through the whole tedious process of untangling yourself from debts so as not to suffer any of the potential hazards.
In filing for bankruptcy, taking time to source for a competent bankruptcy attorney is very crucial.
When hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, find someone reliable who is fully adequate for the purpose, someone who can take on all the paper works, give legal advice, and advocate in your stead, such as bankruptcy attorney Matt Resnik.
How to find and choose a bankruptcy attorney
If you aren’t acquainted with any bankruptcy lawyer, below are tips on how you can go about sourcing for a good one.
Creditkarma.com says you have to choose a bankruptcy attorney that you’re comfortable with, as you have to share a lot of personal financial information.
Note: There are two kinds of bankruptcy lawyers, though. The lawyers’ focus is on working with individuals filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. These attorneys are also referred to as consumer bankruptcy lawyers. Other lawyers deal primarily with businesses to file Chapter 11 reorganization cases and Chapter 7 cases. The lawyers are referred to as business or commercial bankruptcy lawyers.
Take two steps when hiring a lawyer.
Begin by finding and vetting likely candidates.
Then interview the ones that meet your criteria, and finally, retain the one that feels the most compatible.
Several directories promise an excellent attorney. These are organizations that offer reasonable attorneys that can help diffuse your bankruptcy case. After choosing from their list of attorneys, be very conscious when it comes to consulting them.
Some of the best online resources for a good attorney are;
The American Bar Association
This site comes with a list equipped with competent law firms and lawyers. Peruse through for attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy cases you want to file for. Also, there are states and local Bar Associations, which are often good choices. Check them for local sources.
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
They are dedicated to helping people find their way out of a bankruptcy case by recommending adept lawyers devoted to bankruptcy cases. However, the standards required for membership in NACBA are fair, so experience and quality are not necessarily the only serviceable grade.
National Association of Consumer Advocates.
The NACA is an organization that advocates for consumers and bankruptcy are the case that they deal with.
- Other online listings include: NOLO, lawyers.com, Avvo and LegalZoom
In addition to the directories, you can reach out to friends and colleagues for recommendations if you are agreeable with that tactic.
Set up meetings with the ones you deem excellent and qualified, having it at the back of your mind that you might probably be charged for a consultation. Note that a higher consultation fee or a no-charge meeting does not scream quality. During these meetings, being considerate of all that’s in store if you hire someone unsuitable, cautiously interview your selected lawyers for insight on how competent they are. Then when you meet the one you are comfortable with, you go ahead and choose.
Moneycheck.com explains that filing for bankruptcy has long-lasting implications in your life. So choose wisely.
Criteria for Choosing Attorney
How skilled he/she is, their fee rate, how comfortable you will be in working with him/her. It’s essential to consent to these traits, or a misinterpretation from your end will result in hiring someone who’ll only end up mismanaging proceedings, misfiling forms, and missing deadlines.
As advised by Dan La Bert, Executive Director, NACBA, seek out attorneys who can navigate legal proceedings adeptly. “You wouldn’t go to a dermatologist if you had a heart problem,” he says. You must approach attorneys who are specialists in this area and are very capable of interpreting the Bankruptcy law and have dealt with severe bankruptcy cases.
Certified bankruptcy attorneys, as stated by the American Board of Certification, have reached objective standards and know about bankruptcy. They are usually preferred choices since adhering to rules governing bankruptcy case is one of their strong suits. Also, if an attorney has affiliation with NACBA (or any other reputable Bankruptcy attorney Association), their skills will be satisfactory, since they are more resourceful than sole-proprietors.
Additionally, while investigating, ask about the attorney fee. There is no ‘fixed’ charge for a bankruptcy attorney, although Chapter 13 filing will cost more than a Chapter 7. “You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for a Chapter 7 filing. Between $1,500 and $6,000 for a Chapter 13,” said LaBert.
Choose your Attorney Wisely
“Know your stakes for when you pick a bankruptcy attorney,” Cathy Moran, a Californian bankruptcy attorney advised. Remember, you should find someone to help you survive the ordeal. You should be able to find someone who has empathy for a client’s situation. Beware of attorneys who won’t put in efforts worth your money. Choose wisely.