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8 Things to remember before hiring a bankruptcy lawyer

14th June 2011
By KG in Bankruptcy Law
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Bankruptcy filings in the U.S have been very high in past few years. Data from the American Bankruptcy institute reveals that personal bankruptcy filings have been consistently increasing for the last five years. In 2010 alone, 1,593,081 non-business bankruptcy cases were filed were in America. Under the circumstance, it is very important for a consumer to choose his bankruptcy attorney carefully. The right bankruptcy attorney can help you immensely to eliminate your debts. So you should remember the following points before selecting a bankruptcy lawyer:

1. Firstly, check whether the attorney has the license to practice in your state or not. For this you need to enquire at the local bar association. This should be easy enough.

2. Ask for references from suitable people. You should understand that references can be helpful only if they come from someone who is a lawyer or has gone through bankruptcy. Asking your golf buddy for suggestions may not be wise. It can be a smart idea to ask your personal attorney. If he offers to handle your bankruptcy case himself, then make sure that he is capable enough for it. Bankruptcy is a special case and all lawyers canít handle it.


3. It is a good decision to check out the local bar associations for selecting a bankruptcy attorney. Other places you can enquire include the Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. You might also ask your local legal aid society for a list of bankruptcy attorneys.

4. Do not leave things for the last moment. Start looking for a bankruptcy attorney well in advance. Remember that selecting a good bankruptcy attorney requires a lot of homework.

5. When it comes to choosing a bankruptcy attorney, experience becomes a very important factor. An experienced lawyer will deal with creditors, exempt and non-exempt properties, judges and trustees with a lot of expertise.

6. You should prefer attorneys who are certified by the American Bankruptcy Institute. To obtain this certificate, lawyers need to meet a specific standard. Therefore, these lawyers are usually more qualified and efficient than others.

7. Spending a day at bankruptcy court can be an enlightening experience. You can have a closer look at the bankruptcy lawyers and understand the process during this visit. This experience will help you to select the most suitable bankruptcy lawyer. Also, visiting a bankruptcy court will give you an opportunity to talk to other debtors about hiring a bankruptcy attorney.


8. Fee charged by a bankruptcy attorney is obviously going to count. Some lawyers would charge you a flat fee while other others may charge according to your total debt. It is not advisable to hire a bankruptcy lawyer with very low fees because you might have to compromise with quality of legal service. On the other hand, hiring someone very expense may not help either. Remember that you are filing bankruptcy because you are already in serious financial trouble.

Reputable bankruptcy lawyers usually have a presence on the web. So you can search the internet for suitable bankruptcy lawyers. Also, it is a very good idea to hire a bankruptcy attorney from a law firm.
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