6 Things to Look for When Searching for a Bankruptcy Lawyer
The first thing you need to do after you decide to file for bankruptcy is to find the right bankruptcy lawyer. While you can file for bankruptcy on your own, you shouldn’t. There are too many opportunities to make mistakes, which can cost you the chance to get debt relief and may even result in criminal penalties. You need to hire an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer who specializes in Arizona bankruptcy filings.
Here are six things you should look for when searching for the right bankruptcy lawyer:
1. Expert Understanding
Any attorney can help you file for bankruptcy in Phoenix. The law does not require that you are helped by a bankruptcy lawyer – it doesn’t require that you file with the assistance of a lawyer at all. However, even an attorney who does not have specific expertise in bankruptcy can make a lot of costly errors with your filing. You must work with an attorney who has the proper expertise.
Seek out attorneys who have specific training and extensive experience with Arizona bankruptcy filings, and look for attorneys who have experience with the type of bankruptcy you want to file. For example, if you are looking at a Chapter 7 total debt relief filing, look for attorneys who primarily work with Chapter 7 filers.
Along with their expertise, the attorney should have up-to-date knowledge about all the changes made to the bankruptcy code in recent years.
2. Range of Solutions
Bankruptcy is not a one-size-fits-all debt relief solution. Some attorneys try to process as many filings as they can to increase profits, but it can make you feel like you’re part of a mill, and it can mean that you don’t get the debt relief solutions that are best for your circumstances. Some attorneys may try to push a specific type of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 7, but that may not be the best choice for you.
When you consult with attorneys, look for those who will offer you a range of solutions – or who will at least explore different options with you. Your attorney should look at your financial circumstances and come up with a plan based on the results it will give you, specifically.
3. Reasonable Fee Structure
Some attorneys are no better than loan sharks, unfortunately. They see people in poor financial circumstances and desperate for help, and they jack up their fees unreasonably. People will pay, they assume, because they have no other options and they just want a solution.
Any bankruptcy lawyer you hire should offer a reasonable and transparent fee. Most attorneys charge a flat fee for the service and require that it be paid up front. Fees may get a little trickier if you have a complex case or have to litigate, but you should have a clear understanding of how the fees will be assessed, and they should be reasonable when compared to other attorneys.
4. Passion for Work
Attorneys who don’t have a passion for what they’re doing are going to treat you like a number and are only going to tick off boxes when dealing with you. Instead, you need a bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix who is passionate about what they’re doing. Your attorney should really care about getting you results, which should translate into listening to you earnestly, working diligently to get the best results, and providing information throughout the process to help you understand your rights.
5. Excellent Reputation
You can learn a lot about what kind of service and results to expect from a bankruptcy lawyer by the reputation they have among clients and in the community. You can find out an attorney’s reputation by looking at their online reviews, information about them from the Arizona Bar Association, and other sites online.
In addition to reading through the reviews, check to see if any formal complaints have been filed about the lawyer. These won’t necessarily be aired in an online review since that could have legal ramifications, but they could be outlined in detail with the Bar or other professional organizations.
6. Good Working Relationship
Finally, there is no substitute for a good working relationship with your attorney. When you meet with prospective lawyers, pay attention to how well your conversation goes and how you feel when you are working through the details. If you feel relaxed and like your concerns are being heard and addressed, then you probably have found a good lawyer to represent your interests. If you have an “off” feeling or if the person seems rude or rushed, you probably should keep looking.
Your choice of bankruptcy lawyer can have a big impact on your financial future. Take the time to find the right lawyer and you will thank yourself for it later.
Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney can help you get the debt relief you need. Our experienced Bankruptcy attorneys in Phoenix have represented thousands of clients in Arizona bankruptcy filings. We will help you understand your options and how each will impact your finances. We will help you file for bankruptcy, set up a debt repayment plan, or even defend you against creditors if needed. Call us today to learn more about bankruptcy in Arizona and how it might give you the debt relief you need.