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Tips to choose the right bankruptcy lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is a crucial decision, which should be supplemented by the sound advice of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Hiring a competent bankruptcy lawyer can be likened to a great investment for a better future. In fact the choice of the right bankruptcy lawyer will make a huge difference to the impending outcome. The more competent and experienced the lawyer is, the better are the chances of getting your interests protected.

Are you searching for a bankruptcy lawyer but do not know what should you do to look for in a good lawyer? Then, here is a list of things that you need to consider while looking for an experienced bankruptcy lawyer:

•Free consultation: Most bankruptcy attorneys will offer a free consultation, while some will not. So, look for an attorney who charges no fee at your first visit. Your first visit is where you discuss your situation, learn about the bankruptcy filing costs, attorney fees and other charges and counseling.

•Counseling costs: Ask the attorney about the fee structure for financial counseling. Normally financial counseling costs around $30 for the first session and $20 for the ending one. Some lawyers conduct online counseling for their clients and the clients are required to pay later. If a bankruptcy lawyer charges an exorbitant counseling fee, it is better that you look for other lawyers.


•Experience: Look for a lawyer with huge knowledge and experience in bankruptcy cases. You would always want a lawyer who has an in-depth knowledge on bankruptcy laws, the local and federal rules and is adept at handling the bankruptcy trustees and the judges. So, always go for a bankruptcy lawyer, who is reputable, with at least a 10-year experience and a fabulous legal background. If possible, check with friend and relatives who have worked with the lawyer and also seek the opinions of satisfied clients. Also, you can check with the State Bar Association to learn about the lawyer’s reputation.

•Fee: Bankruptcy attorneys are usually expensive. While some lawyers offer a flat fee structure, others charge fees based on your total debt figure, or an upfront fee before filing your bankruptcy. Go for the one that suits your pocket. But avoid the ones with too low fee, because incredibly low fee structure indicates poor services and reputation. However, also avoid too costly lawyers unless your case is too complex.

•Law firm: Some advise that one should get hold of a lawyer from an established and reputable bankruptcy law firm, because good reputation comes from successful lawyers. Therefore, big law firms are likely to offer you better professional help. However, others opine that small firms are likely to offer you more “personal” care, which is absolutely needed for clients undergoing something serious like bankruptcy. So, the choice ultimately lies with you. Go for the one that you think is suitable for you.

•Transparent Terms: Look for a lawyer who will offer a transparent contract, where it will be mentioned in clear terms what the lawyer will take care of in your case.

So, now that you know how to assess a bankruptcy lawyer, you can start looking for one right now and take the first step towards a debt free life.

Edward Baxter is a financial writer with He writes on a wide range of personal finance topics.


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