If you think it’s time to find a bankruptcy lawyer to represent you through the process, there are several keys to making sure you get the best lawyer for your case. It’s important that you do your homework, rather than hiring the first attorney you come across. Here are a few of the most important things to look for when you are considering hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
Is this attorney experienced? Be sure your attorney has a great deal of experience handling bankruptcy. Be wary of sites that list years of experience without listing specific field. Someone may have years of experience in real estate, but that doesn’t mean they are qualified to properly handle your bankruptcy case. Do not hesitate to ask specific questions about an attorney’s experience with bankruptcy. Here are a few questions you can start with:
- How many years have you practiced bankruptcy law?
- How many bankruptcy cases do you usually handle each year?
- Have you handled Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings?
When you ask about how many bankruptcy cases he or she handles, you are looking for a reasonable number. There are plenty of bankruptcy mills that handle hundreds of cases each year. This often means that they are not really interested in the client’s well-being. Instead, they are interested in simply finishing the case so they can move on to the next. Finally, it is important to know whether an attorney has experience with both types of filings, 7 and 13, because each is handled differently. An attorney who has handled more of one type, may be less experienced and might steer you toward his expertise when it’s not the best choice for you.
In general, you will probably find the cost between $1,000 to $3,000 depending on several variables. Be cautious if an attorney gives you a flat fee over the phone with no consultation or information about your case. This is a red flag and a sign that you may be dealing with a bankruptcy mill or an attorney who doesn’t understand the intricacies of bankruptcy filing. Look for an attorney who will sit down and discuss your case before giving you a final estimate. An attorney who will take time to look over your case will likely give you the best service for your money.
This leads to our next point. When filing for bankruptcy, you will want to hire an attorney who will build a professional relationship with clients. Here are some things to consider:
- Is your attorney willing to sit down and answer your questions?
- Are you getting a high pressure sales pitch?
- Does tier attorney have a qualified legal assistant to help you?
You want an attorney to handle your bankruptcy who will take the time to learn your case, hear your concerns, and help you make the best choices for your situation. You will also want to look for a firm with knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful staff as they will often be the ones you are speaking with regarding some of the more routine aspects of your case.
There are a lot of ways to determine what kind of reputation an attorney has. Word of mouth is still a valuable tool for judging a business or service. Check online for reviews and ask around to see if anyone you know has worked with an attorney. A strong social media presence is usually a good sign that you are working with an attorney who cares about staying connected to clients and wants to maintain a strong reputation in their field. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and the State Bar to find out if an attorney has had any legitimate complaints filed. Legitimate is emphasized here because in the legal field, someone is bound to get upset with an attorney now and again, but you can judge whether a complaint is legitimate or someone who is just not happy with the outcome of their case. All of these combined should give you a good idea of whether a bankruptcy lawyer is reputable.
After years of practicing law, it can be easy for an attorney to lose passion for the system. Passion really is necessary to ensure you have an attorney who will represent you well and thoroughly work to see you all the way through the process. There are a few tell tale signs that an attorney isn’t as passionate about their job and your case as they should be:
- Doesn’t engage clients to answer questions
- Doesn’t return phone calls and emails in a timely manner
- Doesn’t fully explain the process
- Brushes off or ignores your concerns
Look for an attorney who will be encouraging and take time to engage you and the system to get the job done right.
The attorneys at Hall & Navarro are passionate about law. We serve Effingham County, Bulloch County and surrounding areas. The law offices are located in Springfield, Georgia and in Statesboro, Georgia. The attorneys at Hall & Navarro provide focused and experienced representation from your initial consultation until the resolution of your legal matter. We offer a broad range of legal services and are dedicated to serving individuals and businesses.
Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. This site and its information is not official legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Feel free to get in touch by e-mail, letters or phone calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information to us.