Tough times call for tough attorneys and when you're facing bankruptcy you need the toughest - but the best attorney around.
What are the key things you need to look for (or ask for) when you're searching out a bankruptcy attorney, including an attorney who can handle chapter 11 or chapter 13 issues relating to indebtedness or insolvency?
There are some key things you need to do. Here are seven.
1. Ask around. The best thing you can do is check out others who have used attorneys in a similar situation. Remember, no matter how much Attorney A may be regarded, unless he or she is experienced in bankruptcy or insolvency law issues you don't need them.
2. Experience. They must have experience. You don't want to be trialed on someone who's not used to handling, say, chapter 11 legal questions.
3. Check out the local court and see which attorneys are actually handling the bankruptcy work there. You can watch them in action, get a feel for who you think would do a good job for you.
4. Check out who sits on the bankruptcy court panels in your area. These will generally be good, experienced and well regarded attorneys. You can also ask your local bar association and of course you should also ask other professionals like accountants and business advisors.
5. Know who will be handling your work. You also need to ask which lawyer will be handling your file. The attorney you interview may not necessarily be the one who will handle your bankruptcy issue so ask who will be doing it.
6. Ask about fees. You have enough money trouble without knowing what the fees will be for the job so ask the lawyers and get the best estimate you can as to how much they cost.
7. Don't make a fee-based decision. Don't go for the cheapest lawyer. Although money is clearly important you also want to make sure you're getting a bankruptcy attorney who can do the best job for you and that's not at all necessarily the cheapest. You want an attorney who has experience and can give you a time frame, a fee estimate and some darn good advice during a rough time.
Remember when you're hunting out an attorney for bankruptcy matters you should also go to the bar association and use their free advice on matters like fees, good attorneys and other advice that can help you make a very important selection just that little bit easier.
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