Bankruptcy Lawyer Near You
Finding a bankruptcy lawyer takes both time and effort – but you’ll find that it’s more than worth it to locate someone who is good with his job. In others words: finding a bankruptcy lawyer near me who can get you a favorable verdict when it comes to your petition.
Following are some tips on how to find a good bankruptcy lawyer.
Check out the Location
Obviously, your first move would be to check out the bankruptcy lawyer, placing particular attention in where he is located. The term near is relative – do you want someone within the same state, city, or street? The general rule is to start from the area where you live and work your way outwards. Hence, first check out bankruptcy lawyers near your street and if this doesn’t work – find someone you can easily reach within the city.
The look and feel of their office should also provide you with a good insight as to the kind of lawyer you’re getting. Obviously, those who are located in more accessible areas are typically of better quality or more successful in their practice. Try to check out the general feel of their office, the presence of secretaries, and various other non-legal factors that can help build your impression of the attorney.
Consider Your Petition
What kind of petition do you intend to file? Depending on your situation – you might opt for a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7. Use these keywords when making a search online. For example, you can type in “Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer near me” or “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer near me”. Typically, lawyers are capable of handling both types of bankruptcy petitions – but it’s usually best to find someone who specializes in the Chapter you want. This helps increase the chances of approval, especially since Chapter 13 petitions typically have a low rate of admissions.
Ideal Search Locations
The internet is obviously the best place to find lawyers nearby because it gives you as much data as you possible need. Note though that there are several possible websites that can offer excellent results every time.
First, there’s the Internet Directories that the bar association themselves provide online. This includes a list of all bankruptcy lawyers categorized based on the area where they are practicing. You can also try personal-referrals if you want to find someone you can trust. Lawyers referred to you by friends are typically of good quality and will provide exactly what you need.
If your budget for a lawyer is a little limited, you can also opt for Legal Aid or Legal Clinics. These sites are often subsidized and typically have programs specifically for the low-income or medium-income clients. In some cases, they offer their services for free.
Ideally, you should first meet with the lawyer who provides a free consultation. This actually gives you the chance to evaluate their expertise. This one-on-one also gives you the chance to check out the lawyer in person and find out whether the two of you are comfortable with each other. This is crucial since you need to be able to trust your lawyer and give them the information they need to make solid decisions in your petition. See as many bankruptcy lawyers as you can that provide for free consultation – this should give you the chance to make comparisons between them.
Ask Before Hiring
Just because a bankruptcy lawyer is near you doesn’t mean you should hire them immediately. First off, you need to make sure that they’re of good quality. To figure this out, it’s important that you first talk to them about their practice. How long have they been in the profession and were they able to win many of their cases? Do not be afraid to ask for their professional background – after all, this would be directly proportional to your chances of being granted bankruptcy.
You’ll find that the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys is a good way to screen possible litigators for your petition. NACBA members are typically practiced to handle only the heaviest debts. If your debt problem is incredibly deep, this is the place to go. Their lawyers are very adept in the process of ensuring a granted petition as well as saving as many of your assets as possible in the liquidation.
Note that bar associations and other listings only provide for a list of lawyers – they don’t exactly screen them beforehand. Hence, you’re going to have to make sure that such lawyer is someone you can trust. Fortunately, this can be easily verified by going directly to official bar websites and checking out the name of your favored litigant in the list.
Do not let the lawyer handle everything. You have the resources to do your own research so do it – find as much as you can about bankruptcy petitions. This gives you the chance to verify what the lawyer knows, understand the kind of steps the lawyer will be taking, and figure out exactly what exemptions and documents necessary for the completion of the petition. This will also help prevent lawyers from taking advantage of your position, verifying the existence of attorneys you can really trust.
Consider the Cost
Lastly, don’t forget to consider the cost of the bankruptcy lawyer. At first blush, try to find out how the lawyer fixes his rate. Will he ask for a flat rate up until the decision on your petition or will he require a fee each appearance? Compare his rates with the other lawyers you’ve talked about – this way, you won’t find yourself unnecessarily paying off more. Note that cost isn’t always an indicator of quality but you WILL get what you paid for in the long run.
Of course, those are just few of the considerations you have to take into account when choosing a bankruptcy lawyer. Give yourself time to consider your options and remember: there is always the possibility of filing your own petition. However, this should only be done when you’re absolutely sure that you’re capable of handling things on your own. Otherwise, the services of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is better.