Filing for bankruptcy can be a confusing and scary undertaking. Since there are so many complicated aspects to the process, it's not always best to tackle the court proceedings on your own. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer can help you navigate everything properly. Finding an attorney with the right blend of practical experience and knowledge of bankruptcy law is vital for your case. Here are some things to consider when searching for the best bankruptcy lawyer for you.
1) Look for an attorney who has actual experience with bankruptcy law.
While it may be tempting to choose a general practice lawyer, it is crucial that you find an attorney who is proficient in the nuances of bankruptcy law in your particular geographic area. A lawyer who has knowledge of the specific bankruptcy court that will be handling your case can ensure that no mistakes are made. A well-versed bankruptcy lawyer will also be able to guide you through the timing, paperwork, and correct path to take in your situation (Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy). Ask your prospective lawyers if they have any specialized training or certifications and how many total bankruptcies they've handled to date.
2) Use a variety of resources to find bankruptcy lawyers.
There are several places to conduct your search. Check with your state bar association for suggestions of local attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. Online directories and national associations can provide lists of lawyers in your area as well, along with client reviews and peer recommendations. You may also want to ask your friends and family who have worked with a bankruptcy lawyer in the past for personal referrals. Once you have determined some possible candidates, set up a consultation with them to learn more about their qualifications and experience with bankruptcy law.
3) Find a compatible personality.
You will need to have a relationship of open communication and compatibility with your attorney. Throughout the bankruptcy process, you will have to disclose information about your financial history that may be difficult to talk about candidly. For that reason, it is crucial that you select a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable. You should also look for someone who you can trust to advocate for you and give the right amount of attention to your case. If you do not feel that you can communicate openly with the attorney you are vetting, you may want to continue your search for a lawyer who is more compatible with your needs.
Be sure to take the time to do the necessary research and find the ideal bankruptcy attorney to represent you. Doing so can save you money, time, and stress as you work towards long-term debt relief.