Often, our first instinct is to head straight for the cheapest option when shopping for anything. I know I've been guilty of passing up all the brand names to go for the cheapest brand of toothpaste or cereal. But should you do the same when shopping for a bankruptcy attorney? Here are a few things to keep in mind before you head straight for the first search result for "cheap bankruptcy attorney."
You'll get the service you pay for. Sure, the guy that advertises that he is the cheapest bankruptcy attorney in all of St. Louis very well may be. But what does that mean? You are most likely paying for him to do the bare minimum or even less. An attorney who isn't charging you the standard bankruptcy fee is probably expecting you to do a portion of the work--and he may not take responsibility for anything that goes wrong.
Bankruptcy fees are regulated by the court. In fact, bankruptcy attorneys all charge the same hourly rate because of that. Total fees are based on how much work was put into your case but almost every case requires the same amount of work. Wouldn't it be logical that we would all have similar fees? Some attorneys will give you a lower quote upfront to get you to sign up and then surprise you later with hidden fees. Make sure you find a bankruptcy attorney who is open and honest with you about how much your bankruptcy is really going to cost.
So, since bankruptcy attorney's fees are regulated and should all be similar, it would be wise to reevaluate your criteria. Look for the best bankruptcy attorney for your case, not the cheapest. If you had to have open heart surgery, would you be searching for the cheapest doctor? You would probably be looking for the best. Don't treat your bankruptcy any differently.
Make sure you know how the attorney will treat you after he or she is done with your case. There are many mistakes that can be made in the months and years after a bankruptcy that can put you right back at square one. Check and see if the attorney has any post-bankruptcy publications or information to offer you.
After 15 years of filing bankruptcy, I have seen too many people come into my office after another office didn't handle their case correctly or treat them with the respect they deserve. Don't make the same mistake. You can visit our website at http://www.castlelaw.net to contact us for more information on the bankruptcy process and how to find the right attorney for your case.
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