Who do you choose to discuss such a personal issue? More importantly, when bankruptcy filings are increasing daily, and most attorneys handling bankruptcy filings are overworked and less able to handle all of the necessary details that accompany the latest bankruptcy requirements, who do you choose to represent you?
With your personal finances at issue, no one wants an incompetent or inattentive attorney. From the start most people do not want to face the issue of mounting debt, much less discuss the issue of bankruptcy. Most tend to put it off until the last minute when disaster is about to strike. Sadly, waiting until the last minute to hire an attorney will not give you the time that is needed to find an attorney that you can develop some rapport or feel comfortable with. More importantly, waiting too long will makes it very difficult for any attorney to properly prepare and timely file your case.
Bankruptcy is a very focused area of practice and not all attorneys handle such cases. Make certain that the attorney you choose is well organized. Ask the number of bankruptcies he or she has handled, the volume of cases, how much access you will have to the attorney, what are the expected time frames and how the process works.
Make certain that the attorney is not overworked and his or her time spread too thin. Ask what is expected of you, and what the filing requirements are. The bankruptcy process is document and data intensive requiring a lot of client /attorney participation. If you do your part in a timely manner, then the process will proceed more smoothly for both the attorney and the client. Much like other professions, the attorney who knows the process and the local rules is the one that will most likely do the best job representing you.
Make certain that you know what is expected of you from the beginning to the end of the process!
Verify what the charges are for the filing fees, what the attorney fees are, and what the hourly rates are for services outside the routine filing process. In some matters, proceedings may involve the use of expert witnesses or representation of debtors on issues that are being challenged by a creditor, and this typically is not included in the set fee. Discuss any pending complications, lawsuits, or potential lawsuits.
Once you have been furnished drafts of your bankruptcy petition, review it carefully (double checking all names, addresses, account numbers, and data). With a client actively staying on top of the process, the proceedings move along more quickly.
Bottom line - determine whether or not the attorney makes you feel comfortable, confident, and whether you will work well together. The bankruptcy process requires the client and attorney to be organized, punctual and above all, truthful.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.