The only decision more important than the decision to file for bankruptcy is the decision of which bankruptcy attorney to hire. It is likely that you will be faced with an abundance of different options when it comes to attorneys, and it is imperative that you take your time and choose wisely. Going with the wrong attorney can result in choosing the wrong type of bankruptcy for your particular situation, not getting the results you would like for the proceedings, and, overall, having a negative and difficult experience throughout the entire process.
The first thing you will need to do during your search is to compile a list of attorneys who look promising. You can make this list by asking friends, family members, or co-workers who have filed for bankruptcy in the past for their recommendations, searching online, or even looking through the local phone book. You’ll want to be sure that you only go with those lawyers who specialize specifically in bankruptcy cases. More general types of attorneys will likely not have the experience level necessary to deal with your case in the best manner possible.
Once you have a list of possible choices, you’ll need to start narrowing it down. Go online and try to find reviews of each attorney you are considering. Take any information you may find into consideration and use it to eliminate choices that you are wary of. Once your list is quite a bit smaller, you can begin scheduling free consultations with each attorney. Do not waste your time on any attorney who is not willing to give you a free consultation, as this appointment is necessary in order for you to assess the attorney’s competence and expertise and your personal comfort level with the bankruptcy lawyer. Bring any relevant financial or debt information to each appointment, explain the situation, and then see what course of action the attorney proposes. If you get many lawyers telling you to do the same thing, then you can be sure that this is the best choice. If, however, you get conflicting views, you might want to speak with a financial advisor to see what he or she thinks of your situation. Then, you can opt to go with the lawyer whose views most closely resemble those of the financial expert.
Another factor that may have an impact on your decision is the fact that many attorneys will offer reduced rates or even do pro bono (free) work for individuals unable to afford a good bankruptcy attorney. You will likely have to prove a great deal of financial difficulty in order to qualify, but this can be well worth it if it will save you further debt. Even if you cannot find a lawyer who offers this, you can still look for an attorney that will set up a payment plan or that will only accept payment after the bankruptcy proceedings have been successfully carried out. Above all, just be sure to put a lot of time and thought into your decision in order to ensure that you make the best possible choice.