In challenging financial times, a great bankruptcy lawyer can be your best asset.
When good people find themselves unable to pay their bills, or if their home goes into foreclosure, the stress can be overwhelming. The complex legal aspects of bankruptcy can be confusing at best; however, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options.
But how do you find the right bankruptcy attorney, the one that will help you through the tough days ahead?
Experience and Expertise
Naturally you want to find a lawyer who has experience, but the number of years someone has been in practice is not always a good indicator.
Instead, ask specific questions about the attorney’s history. How many bankruptcy cases has the lawyer filed? How many of those cases were successfully closed with a full discharge of debts?
It’s also important to choose an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. Bankruptcy law is complex, and you’ll achieve the best results with someone who has the right expertise.
Familiarity with Local Courts and Rules
Bankruptcy lawyers must be well-versed in federal laws, as federal statutes dictate the process. It is also important, however, that they have a deep understanding of the regulations of the local district court where you will file your claim.
In addition, the attorney you choose should know the local bankruptcy trustees, as each may have additional procedures or requirements that must be followed for the claim to proceed. Hiring a lawyer who is familiar with the area’s rules and legalities, as well as the quirks of the local trustees, will make the bankruptcy process go much more smoothly for you.
If you’re like most people who consider filing for bankruptcy, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on legal fees. Any reputable bankruptcy lawyer will be willing to provide you with a free fee quote, along with a listing of what exactly is included in the legal fees. You’ll also want to ask about any additional court or filing fees that may be required.
It is a good idea to talk with at least two attorneys (or more) before making your choice. You may be tempted to select the lawyer who offers you the lowest fees, but this may not ensure that you receive the individual attention your case needs. Likewise, higher fees don’t necessarily ensure better representation.
Rather than relying on fee structure as the basis of your decision, consider the level of service you will receive.
It is important that your attorney is available to you, and that your case is handled in a timely manner. Ask about the lawyer’s accessibility, specifically how long it will take for your calls to be returned and how far in advance you must schedule appointments. Be sure also to find out about the attorney’s expected time frame for handling your case.
Finally, be sure that the lawyer you interview is the one who will handle your case. In many large firms, a named partner may meet with you, but once you sign on, hand your case off to a junior associate or paralegal.
Choosing an attorney is about much more than seeing an ad on a billboard or the side of a bus. Recommendations from friends or business associates are not always appropriate either. Consider the factors listed above, and use them as a basic guideline for finding the right bankruptcy lawyer for you.
There is life after bankruptcy!
For a confidential consultation to discuss your case, contact Lewis Adams and Associates in West Jordan. With our extensive experience in northern Utah bankruptcy proceedings, we can help you successfully navigate the legal process. You can count on us if you find yourself in need of an exceptional bankruptcy lawyer.