Bankruptcy is a scary time for most people. It involves loss of a life you were used to and new financial world where you’re working to rebuild trust and freedom. Navigating it requires an attorney with experience. Bankruptcy attorneys help you file paperwork, help you pick a repayment plan, help you navigate the court system. You can’t take on bankruptcy without one, but you should also do as much research as possible to make sure you have the attorney that’s right for you.
You need a professional and highly experienced attorney to help you take on bankruptcy.
Just any attorney won’t cut it. Bankruptcy law is complex and small mistakes can cost you a lifetime of financial security. There are some signs to look for in a potential attorney that can help you make the right, informed decision about how to move forward in your bankruptcy case.
Below are some signs to look for in a good attorney
The Right Memberships and Reviews
Law is vague, but specialties are called that for a reason. Any lawyer serious about their specialty is going to be a part of the right organizations to further their work. One must have for your lawyer is a membership to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. A membership here guarantees the law firm is serious about bankruptcy law and is dedicated to being up to date on the changes and trends in the practice. Having several to many years experience is also something to look for as well as Reviews. A number of good reviews is an important indicator.
A Good Website
All lawyers need a good website. If a potential lawyer has a website that looks outdated or rife with mistakes and typos, that can be a huge red flag. If they can’t even maintain a proper website, how are they going to help you fight the intricate and confusing laws around bankruptcy? It’s also a sign of how successful the firm is when they have a good marketing budget for a solid and thorough website.
Offering Alternative Solutions
Your attorney is your advisor. You shouldn’t be telling them what you plan to do, they should be offering you advice and letting you know what all your legal options are. A lawyer who does not provide options may not be knowledgeable enough in the field, or perhaps may only be after the solution that gets them the best payout as opposed to looking out for your interests.
How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost?
Prices vary, but should be reasonably close, so make sure to look around. From the beginning of the process to the end, you could be looking at a legal fee beginning around one thousand dollars to several thousand dollars for all the help your lawyer offers. Whatever the price, you will find it is worth it for sound advice and peace of mind.
Can I Represent Myself?
You can but it is highly discouraged. Filing as “pro se” debtor means you file without a lawyer and all negotiations and repayment fees have to be handled by you, whereas a lawyer would negotiate on your behalf. Bankruptcy is complicated and strict, so filing without a lawyer is highly discouraged where it is avoidable.
Don’t take on personal bankruptcy alone. Lawyers are out there to help you in your bankruptcy case. Find the right lawyer and get your life back. If you live in Massachusetts, Hines Law Offices can help. We are a full-service bankruptcy firm that has been helping residents throughout Massachusetts for over 15 years. Our bankruptcy attorneys will guide you every step of the way and make sure you choose the best debt relief option for your situation. Specializing in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, we can help you get protection and take back control of your finances so that you can start to rebuild your future. Call us today for a Free Case Evaluation!