Bankruptcy is full of difficult choices, the first of which involves choosing the right lawyer for you and your case.
Without the right guidance, you could end up with an attorney who's overextended or inexperienced. That's why we've put together five tips to help you find the bankruptcy lawyer who's right for you.
1. Start Today.
You may be tempted to put off finding a lawyer, but this isn't something you want to procrastinate about. The more time your attorney has to prepare, the better the outcome of your case will be. By waiting until the last minute to find a lawyer, you're only hurting yourself.
2. Ask Friends, Family, and Associates.
The best place to start your search is close to home. Talk to friends, family, and business associates who have to been through bankruptcy themselves. Ask them if they worked well with their attorneys and whether they would recommend them.
3. Take Advantage of Associations and Panels.
If your friends and family don't have any recommendations for you, you should take advantage of some of the free resources that are at your disposal. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys has a list of certified bankruptcy attorneys on its website. You can also look up any local bankruptcy panel discussions that are taking place. The lawyers who are asked to speak on the panels are usually highly regarded.
4. Use Free Consultations.
Finding the right lawyer can be an expensive undertaking, requiring you to make appointments with a number of law offices. You can save money by seeking out lawyers and firms that offer free consultations. With a free consultation, your first visit with an attorney will be free of charge.
5. Know the Right Questions to Ask.
You should use your free consultation as a chance to get to know as much as you can about a lawyer. Make sure to ask about the lawyer's experience, how much of his or her practice is devoted to bankruptcy cases, his or her fee arrangement, the benefits of bankruptcy, the downsides, and what your case will likely entail.
- Call a Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney (FindLaw)
- Can I File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer? (FindLaw)
- Is It Time to File for Bankruptcy? (FindLaw's Phoenix Bankruptcy Law Blog)
- Get Affordable Attorney Access With a Legal Plan From LegalStreet (LegalStreet.com)
(Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.)