How to Choose Your Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy is a process that can negatively impact your credit rating for up to ten years. The process can take up to ten months and should be overseen by a professional. Choosing a bankruptcy attorney is an essential part of completing the successful process. Professionals can assist you through the bankruptcy process and ease the transition into your new lifestyle. Consider these aspects when choosing a bankruptcy attorney:

Find Seven Choices. More than seven choices may be too overwhelming for the individual to decide. It is important to compare services, rates, and value when meeting with attorneys. Most initial consultations are free --- at least for the first hour, this will allow you to meet with more than one attorney free of charge.

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Get Recommendations. Recommendations from family and friends are some of the strongest opinions that you will receive. These opinions will be unbiased and truthful as your family and friends have your best interest at heart when making the referral.

Seek Advice Soon. The sooner that you seek advice when financial troubles are brewing; the more options are available to you. An initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer can surprisingly yield alternatives to bankruptcy including debt consolidation and debt counseling management. It is in your best interest to try avoiding the lengthy process of bankruptcy.

Question Everything. It is important to ask multiple questions in the initial consultation. It is important to determine which certifications that the bankruptcy attorney has. Ask the attorney how many bankruptcies that the lawyer has handled in the past. What was the outcome? What is the case load of the bankruptcy lawyer? If the lawyer has too many cases, is there enough time to adequately handle your case? How much access will you, as the client have to the case during the filing? Ask about the repercussions of bankruptcy and if the lawyer is part of a network of business professionals that can help the client to continue their financial education and avoid debt and bankruptcy in the future. It is important to realize how the proceedings will occur and who will have access to the case - will you be working with the same lawyer throughout the case? What fees are associated with the filings, and how are these fees paid? Using these methods you can create a plan that can help you ease through the bankruptcy proceedings. I'll also advise bringing a notepad and pen to take notes during the initial consultation, you should also have your questions prepared before arriving for the initial consultation.

Get Fee Assessments. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. It is not always the smartest idea to go with the cheapest lawyer possible. Find out exactly what is included in the fee for service, and if extra fees are required for paperwork or the hiring of accountants. How are the fees paid? Chances are, if you are facing bankruptcy then the fees should be low because you are in a financially strapped situation anyway! Does the lawyer come with a flexible repayment plan? These are all aspects to keep in mind when choosing a bankruptcy attorney.

Making use of the steps above will give you a good starting point for finding the right bankruptcy attorney for you. Although bankruptcy should be treated as a "last resort" strategy for getting out of debt, it is not the end of the world. Many people have recovered from bankruptcy --- it is important that you clear your debt and don't reenter debt. Keep a debt free life and you'll live a comfortable lifestyle.

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