How Do I Choose a Bankruptcy Attorney?
Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney is the most important decision that you will make. Because of the high volume of bankruptcy cases in the last four years, many attorneys, experienced and inexperienced, have started doing bankruptcies. There are attorneys advertising to do your case for as little as $500, and there are attorneys who promise to file your case fast. If you've never hired an attorney before (and most of us have not), you may not realize that fast and cheap are not necessarily qualities that you will need in your attorney. To your bankruptcy attorney you will tell intimate details of your life, and from your bankruptcy attorney you must receive guidance through a mine field of technical requirements of the law.
The attorney-client relationship is based upon trust. You must be convinced that your attorney is sufficiently experienced to guide you in one of the most important and difficult decisions in your life. Because of the nature of bankruptcy law and practice, it is important that your attorney be a practicing bankruptcy lawyer who has done this before. Here are some guidelines for the selection of a competent bankruptcy attorney:
- Hire a bankruptcy specialist. The most experienced bankruptcy attorneys are specialists. An experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorney devotes at least half his time to bankruptcy and has been practicing bankruptcy law for at least three years or is associated with a firm that devotes a significant part of its practice to bankruptcy.
- Get a referral. The best attorneys in any field of law are known by their fellow attorneys. To find an experienced Colorado bankruptcy attorney, ask another attorney for a referral to a bankruptcy specialist. If you don't know an attorney, ask a friend who knows an attorney who can make a referral. Or if you have friends who have filed bankruptcy, ask them who their attorneys were. Would they go to the same attorney again?
- Make appointments to consult with at least three bankruptcy attorneys. Most consumer bankruptcy attorneys will provide a free or low cost first appointment. You should experience the following from a first visit to a bankruptcy attorney:
- First, did you meet with an attorney? If not, don't bother going back.
- Second, did you understand what the attorney said? Did the attorney answer your questions in clear, understandable language? The bankruptcy process is complicated, but it can be explained. You need an attorney who can explain it to you so that you understand.
- Last, do you feel like that attorney regards you as a person, or as just another case? You must feel comfortable with the attorney who will take you through the bankruptcy process.
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The statements of law made here are general statements of law, effective at the time published and subject to change from time to time. These statements are not intended, nor may they be construed, to be applicable to any particular set of factual circumstances nor to any particular person. I recommend that all readers seek the assistance and advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer for guidance in their particular circumstances.
© Copyright 2013 David C. Hoskins, licensed Colorado lawyer