If you are experiencing financial difficulty or have reason to believe that you may in the near future, it is always a good idea to consult with a bankruptcy attorney at the earliest possible time to discuss your rights and options both in and outside of bankruptcy. Choosing the right attorney for you can make all the difference. Here is a non-exclusive list of points to help you in making that choice:
- Experience. The attorney (or at least the law firm) you choose should have experience in handling bankruptcy cases. Ask questions about the attorney’s or firm’s history and years in business, review their website and any other information available.
- Knowledge. This factor is often related to the one above. You want an attorney that has a good foundation of the bankruptcy laws (commonly referred to as the “Bankruptcy Code”) and concepts required to provide you the best legal advice. A good bankruptcy consultation with the attorney should leave you feeling comfortable that the attorney is knowledgeable in this regard.
- Communication and Availability. Bankruptcy is a process that lasts months and sometimes years, in which you will need to regularly consult with your attorney. The lack of communication is often the most common complaint against attorneys. Ask about the attorney’s possible methods of communication and the attorney’s policy in returning client calls or emails.
- Attorney Consultation. Often the best way to help you choose an attorney that is right for you is to meet with him or her for an in-person consultation beforehand. There is really no replacement for meeting someone in person. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and better decide whether you are comfortable overall with this attorney handling your case.
- Costs and Fees. It is important that you understand from the start what costs to expect and to understand what the attorney’s fees are. For example, will there be a one-time, “flat” fee, or are fees billed at an hourly rate? Are payment plans available? Remember, cheaper may not be better. Other costs to consider are filing fees charged by the court and costs of taking any required bankruptcy-related courses.
- Don’t Rely Solely on Advertisements. You may see attorney advertisements on the TV, internet, or radio. But hiring any professional should not be based solely on advertisements, or any one of the points mentioned above.
The attorneys at Blackwell & Associates have over 70 years of collective experience advising individuals and businesses of their rights and options both in and outside of bankruptcy. Our attorneys always have in-person consultations with our bankruptcy clients, which allows you to better decide whether our firm is the right fit for you. It also allows our attorneys to give you the personal attention necessary to better evaluate your individual circumstances as they relate to the particular legal issues involved. Our firm is flexible in scheduling appointments that fit your schedule, including those needed outside of normal business hours. And our attorneys will promptly respond to client communications.
Call our firm today at 636-240-3632 to talk to one of our attorneys directly.