How to Choose the Right Bankruptcy Attorney

Do you know how to choose the right bankruptcy attorney? With just about every service, most people will reach out for referrals from friends and family. However, the stigma associated with bankruptcy keeps most people from going on Facebook and posting the question.

So, many people are left choosing a bankruptcy attorney from television or radio ads, billboards, bus stop displays or online promotions. Yet, bankruptcy is serious and demands the right advice and representation. Before making an appointment, here are some things that will help you find the right bankruptcy attorney.

1. Experience

It is best to seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney. However, years in practice is not always the best indicator of experience. You will want to know how many bankruptcy cases he or she has handled, and the types. An attorney who handles a disproportionate number of Chapter 7 cases may not be the best fit. On the other hand, a lawyer who only handles Chapter 13 may be pushing all clients in one direction when Chapter 7 could be a better option.

2. Competency

This one can be a bit difficult to figure out. There are attorneys in practice for 20 years, but who do a poor job. Conversely, there are recent law school grads who are diligent, hard-working, and who have been monitored by an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Attempt to get a list of past client referrals and try to speak with them personally. The time and effort is worth it.

3. Reasonable Fees

While the old “you get what you pay for” is true, you will want to make sure that you are paying for exactly what you need. Ask the attorney for the typical cost associated with a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Also, beware of the so-called “bankruptcy mills”, which are cheap, but simply push paperwork without providing individualized service. Nevertheless, being the most expensive does not translate into being the best. Shop around and understand what bankruptcy attorney’s charge.

Harris Ammerman
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