Written by: Michaella Radich
Finding the right bankruptcy attorney could mean the difference between regaining financial security and prolonged struggling. There are five key things to look for in a bankruptcy attorney.
Legal fees are one of the most important factors to a client, but when it comes to legal assistance, you truly do get what you pay for. Most bankruptcy attorneys use a fairly standard pricing system for liquidation and person reorganization. The fee should include several services, like: consultation and financial analysis; the preparation of the bankruptcy petition; a review of the petition; attendance at the meeting of creditors; and follow-ups with creditors, if necessary. Some services, like litigation, however, are generally not included in a bankruptcy attorney’s flat fee. So, it is important to ask the attorney what costs could arise from any litigation resulting from the bankruptcy case.
It is important not to choose a bankruptcy attorney solely based on price. An attorney who charges significantly less than others in the same area and field, may not be very experienced with bankruptcy cases or may cut corners in handling your case.
Technically, any attorney can handle bankruptcy cases, but it is best to choose an attorney who has handled a sizeable number of bankruptcy cases. An attorney’s number of years of experience isn’t as important as the percentage of bankruptcy cases they have handled. An attorney with decades of experience, who offers a number of different legal services, may be less qualified to handle a bankruptcy case than an attorney with less experience who focuses heavily on bankruptcy cases.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 2005. While this law may not have any effect on your particular bankruptcy case, it is virtually impossible for someone who is not a lawyer to determine the law’s potential effect. Not all attorneys are up-to-date on the changes to Bankruptcy laws. The best way to judge an attorney’s knowledge is to ask in your consultation if the 2005 law will affect your case. If your attorney cannot answer this broad question, they might not be as caught up as they should be.
Avoid getting run through the “bankruptcy mill,” by an attorney or firm that pays little attention to individual client’s specific needs. Being “run through the mill” often results in shoddy legal work and a disappointed client. A good way to avoid falling victim to the mill is by contacting the local bar association, who generally would not recommend such a firm. Avoiding a high-volume firm is another good rule of thumb for avoiding bankruptcy mills, as they usually pay less attention to individual needs.
Never choose an attorney who you personally don’t feel comfortable with. Even if the attorney is affordable, trustworthy, and well qualified, a good attorney-client relationship is paramount in bankruptcy cases because they are often very emotional life moments for clients.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, let Blick Law Firm assist you in maximizing your recovery and receiving the full benefits you are entitled to. Call our office at 888-973-2776 to schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney today!