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What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Attorney and What to Do Next
There are several facets to bankruptcy. You should have a seasoned expert on your side if you are going through the procedure. A bankruptcy attorney is what you need. A bankruptcy lawyer will evaluate your financial status and provide you with advice on how to proceed. Your lawyer also informs you of the things you get to keep and the debts you can not get rid of in bankruptcy, such as educational loans. You may be hesitant to pay for legal representation if you are already struggling to make ends meet. However, if you have a competent bankruptcy attorney on your side, you greatly improve your chances of a positive outcome. You should hire a lawyer who is competent and has a history of success if you need legal representation.
If you have persistent foot discomfort, you would not see a cardiologist, would you? Finding a competent bankruptcy attorney follows the same guidelines. You should look for a lawyer who concentrates on bankruptcy cases. Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a different set of rules than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some debts can be discharged in Chapter 13 but not in Chapter 7. There is also a disparity between debt and income caps. Get yourself a lawyer who is aware of the distinctions. Someone whose career is focused on bankruptcy will know more about the topic than an all-around attorney would. The likelihood of victory and debt relief increases as the attorney’s level of experience and ability in bankruptcy law increases.
You may use Google to locate a bankruptcy attorney in your region, but you should treat the results with caution because they are likely to have been provided by the lawyers themselves. The same may be said of any commercial legal encyclopedias. A lawyer’s listing usually comes with a price tag because of the demand for their services. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the membership pages of local and national bar bodies are excellent places to start. Lawyers’ interests are represented by the American Bar Association, a non-profit organization. Any lawyers listed there have been subjected to stringent criteria for recommendations. At the state level, this function is fulfilled by bar associations.
Draw up a list of about 10 lawyers after asking around and looking through professional directories. Continue your investigation. Online testimonials are helpful, but you should treat those posted on a lawyer’s website with caution. These comments are probably legit and not false. Take the time to read the feedback. Avoid relying just on the star rating. There might be a single really unhappy client who gave the attorney a one-star rating or the attorney could have been the victim of a review bombing by others with grievances or even rivals. A lawyer who has received nothing but glowing recommendations from past clients may have paid family and friends to write those glowing testimonials. If at all feasible, use the reviews you read to whittle down your list of potential lawyers to three or five. However, do not eliminate competent lawyers from consideration only to narrow the field.