How to Find a Highly Reputable Bankruptcy Lawyer
Coming to the decision that you must file for personal bankruptcy is a difficult, often emotionally draining process. No one wants to face the fact that they have no other alternative for dealing with their mountain of debt. In addition, bankruptcy isn’t a cut and dry legal case. Thousands upon thousands of Americans have used this as a pathway out of their economic dead end during the recession, so if you don’t proceed properly the court will throw out your case without a second thought. You’ve got to secure a skilled attorney, savvy with the ins and outs of all issues facing you during bankruptcy. But there are so many law firms that advertise this specialty. How are you supposed to tell the real experts from the charlatans? Here are a couple of tips to help you find a highly reputable bankruptcy lawyer.
These days it’s best to start your efforts with an online search. The goal is to find a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy cases. Ideally they’ve been trying these cases for years, and focus on financial law either as a primary drive or the sole specialty for the entire firm. Don’t be afraid to research each company in advance of reaching out to them in person. Head over to Yelp and look for some personal reviews. Chances are they’ll be all over the place, and no lawyer will ever make 100% of his clients happy. But if you see a trend of positive feedback and fair and honest dealings, that firm is probably one you should consider. Also make sure that any attorney you approach is board certified. That means you’re getting someone who has proven they are truly an expert in bankruptcy law.
Next, consider the size of the firm you would like to hire. There’s going to be a major difference in cost and quality of care if you go with a large firm versus a private practice. There might also be varying degrees of experience as well. If you’re wholly uncomfortable with the law and have never gone through a process like this before, you should probably work with a smaller organization. You’ll get a different kind of personal attention, and the attorney will take the time to explain each step in the process to you. With a larger firm, you will probably be just one of dozens of cases on your attorney’s desk, and you might end up interacting more with clerks and paralegals. You can expect the larger firm to wield more influence in the court, and have more financial resources at their disposal. Just make sure in either case you truly trust your lawyer, and feel he or she has your best interests at heart.
If you’re still looking for options, reach out to the bar association in your state. They’ll be able to provide you with a list of lawyers in your region who specialize in bankruptcy. You’ll know for sure that each attorney they recommend has passed the bar, and that they haven’t received any significant complaints or faced disciplinary action from the courts. You can also contact the bankruptcy court in your area to look over their most current list of attorneys. You should be able to grab at least three additional referrals this way.
Finally, take the time to meet several different attorneys and feel them out. Most bankruptcy lawyers should be willing to meet you for a consultation that comes free of charge. They’ll go over the details of your case and pitch their services. Ideally, they will see a way to help you and show you what’s possible. A lawyer’s online reputation is one thing, but you have to connect with the individual that’s going to be representing your interests. Ask all the questions that come to mind, and find out which attorneys actually belong to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. If you find the person with the right mix of personality, experience, price and availability, you’ll have your lawyer.