If you have gotten to the unfortunate point of needing to file for bankruptcy, this is clearly not a decision you reached quickly or without giving it a lot of thought. You need to realize that filing bankruptcy is going to be with you for a long time, and will be represented in vivid notation on your credit report for the next 7 to 10 years. Hopefully you have considered all possible alternatives to filing bankruptcy.
Assuming you have already done that, there is the huge question of how to select the right bankruptcy lawyer. It is not as simple as just opening the yellow pages in the phone book and selecting one of them.
When choosing a bankruptcy lawyer, make sure that you feel comfortable that the bankruptcy lawyer has your best interests at heart. There are some lawyers who will take a case simply because they don't currently have any business, or perhaps they have the business mindset that they cannot turn business away who is willing to pay them the fees they will assess. This is the type of lawyer you do NOT want to use, since they will simply complete the paperwork in the fastest way possible, and will not care about how it impacts you, or even offer suggestions to lessen the pain of bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy lawyer that you choose needs to be watching out for your best interests. Since you are in this position of filing bankruptcy, the last thing you need to one more person trying to put the screws to you. Much of this will be gut feeling when you meet with the potential candidate lawyer to discuss the case. Most law firms will not charge you for this initial consultation, or the fee will be very modest if assessed at all. Many law firms understand the need for you to feel comfortable with the lawyer who will be handling your case, and understand that a good part of your decision may be based on your "gut feel reaction" to your initial consultation with the lawyer.
A good bankruptcy lawyer will review your case in detail, so make sure that you are providing them with all the necessary detail so that they can make an informed decision. Have an open and frank discussion with them about where you are financially right now, and discuss whether or not you have bankruptcy alternatives and options available to you, that may be better for you in the long term than filing bankruptcy. Some people may think it is too late to consider bankruptcy alternatives, but wait until you hear that from the bankruptcy lawyer before you put that in concrete, because they are the ones that know the law.
It is important to know how long the lawyer has been practicing law, and also find out if they are native to your state, or how long they have lived in your state. The reason for this is because bankruptcy laws vary from state to state, and you need to feel comfortable that they are very familiar with the specific bankruptcy law in your state.
Bottom line: choose your bankruptcy lawyer with care, because the legal actions they put into motion for you are going to be affecting you for a long time, and you want to be able to recover from bankruptcy as quickly as possible to get things back on track.
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