Bankruptcy Law

Qualities To Look for in a Bankruptcy Attorney

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience matters in bankruptcy cases because they are not like other legal matters.
  • Clear communication is important to ensure you know what to expect.
  • A free consultation is a good way to see if the bankruptcy lawyer is the right person for your case.

Seeking the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes. However, most people have never hired a lawyer, so it can be hard to know where to start.

When you file bankruptcy, you want to know that it is handled correctly and that your financial interests are protected. Here are some things to consider when assessing which bankruptcy lawyer might be right for you.

How Much Experience Does the Lawyer Have?

Bankruptcy law is different than other legal practice areas. Some law offices dabble in a little bit of everything from personal injury to real estate closings. Other bankruptcy law firms primarily handle bankruptcy cases. It takes time and experience to become well-versed in bankruptcy practice. With a lot of experience, your lawyer can anticipate what will happen next, including any potential pitfalls and complications, so that you won’t be caught off guard.

When meeting with your bankruptcy lawyer for the first time, ask about their experience, including how many years of experience they have in bankruptcy and what percentage of their practice involves bankruptcy.

Which Types of Bankruptcy Do They Handle?

There are many types of bankruptcy, named for the chapters under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Some lawyers primarily handle business bankruptcy. Other lawyers primarily handle personal bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. You will want an attorney familiar with cases like yours to give you the best legal advice.

Your lawyer can look at your situation and discuss your legal options. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of bankruptcy filing. A good bankruptcy lawyer can help you decide what type of bankruptcy is best for your debt relief.

Your prospective bankruptcy attorney should be up to date on the latest bankruptcy legal knowledge. Bankruptcy rules and laws are changing all the time. Providing the best legal service includes understanding the latest updates to bankruptcy laws and related areas of law, like the latest tax laws and state bankruptcy exemptions.

Clear Communication Skills

Bankruptcy proceedings can be confusing. From the time you decide to file a bankruptcy petition until you get a bankruptcy discharge, there are many moving parts. How will your attorney update you on what is happening and what you must do? Some lawyers are better at communicating than others. Find an attorney that you feel comfortable with and someone who is a clear communicator.

A good bankruptcy attorney can tell you about the bankruptcy process and update you on any changes. When you meet with creditors, an experienced attorney can let you know the process and help prepare you for what to expect.

When you first meet with the attorney, ask them about communication. Can you call them at any time if you have questions? How will they keep you informed of updates and changes in your case?

Are They Focused on Your Needs?

No two bankruptcy filers are precisely alike. Everyone has their own needs. Filing for bankruptcy is a big financial decision. Your attorney should understand your unique situation. For example, you may need to file for bankruptcy because you can’t afford your student loans, have too many medical bills from a medical emergency, or are overwhelmed by credit cards and need a fresh start.

Ensure your attorney understands your needs and will prepare the best bankruptcy plan for you.

Does the Lawyer Offer a Free Consultation?

If the attorney offers a free consultation, this is a great way to evaluate the lawyer and determine if they are the right bankruptcy lawyer for your case. During an initial consultation, you can prepare a list of questions to see if they have the qualities you are looking for in a good bankruptcy lawyer. Find a bankruptcy attorney in your area and ensure they are the best choice for your case.

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