Filing for bankruptcy can be a very scary time in a person’s life. Without a doubt the financial crisis that has resulted in the bankruptcy has been a stressful ordeal. On top of that, the thought of having a 10-year stain on your credit report from bankruptcy is definitely a big concern. The last thing that you need to worry about is getting an incompetent lawyer working on your case. For that reason, you should put a lot of time and research into choosing a good bankruptcy lawyer.
The qualities of a good bankruptcy lawyer are the same qualities that make a good lawyer in just about any field. For one thing, you want a lawyer who is specialized in bankruptcy, just as you want a lawyer specialized in personal injury if you were involved in that sort of case. While most lawyers should have an understanding of bankruptcy and be able to help you, a specialist will make the entire process much smoother.
In addition, you should hire a lawyer with whom you have a strong rapport. If, upon meeting a lawyer, you feel uncomfortable or that your questions went unanswered, you should keep on looking. The most important aspect skill that any lawyer brings to the table is the ability to really listen and easily explain the complexities of a case. It’s a good idea to interview the lawyer before retaining him or her – and you shouldn’t be afraid to say no if you’re not comfortable.
A few good questions to ask of your lawyer are: how many bankruptcy cases have they have tried? How long have they practiced specifically in the field of bankruptcy law? Ask them: how complicated is my case, and how do you plan to go about handling it? Beware of a lawyer who will just tell what you want to hear. If the lawyer doesn’t talk about any of the difficulties of the process, they may just be looking to you to sign a contract with them.
To find a good lawyer, one place to search is with the local bar association. You can find them in the phone book – bar associations have referral panels that can direct you to a good bankruptcy lawyer. Once you’ve contacted a lawyer, you should get as much information as possible about your case. Make sure you understand the extent of services covered in the lawyer’s fee. You should ask about lien avoidance issues, trustee disputes, non dischargeability and actions, and more. Be aware that a lawyer can’t foresee all the possibilities, and additional fees may be necessary as the case progresses.
Remember that a good bankruptcy lawyer is there to help you. Once you find a bankruptcy lawyer you trust, let them know everything about your financial situation. That way, they will be best prepared to represent your interests. Be sure to provide information to your lawyer quickly, so that all court deadlines can be met on time. If you do your part as well, then having a bankruptcy lawyer on your side will make the bankruptcy process much less painful.