Considering bankruptcy or dealing with a current bankruptcy case can be extremely frustrating and challenging. Whether you’re dealing with a few assets or significant business assets, the entire process can be complicated, especially if you’re worried about how you’ll pay back your debts. While no attorney can wave a magic wand and make the problem disappear, the right attorney will make the process much more manageable. However, before hiring an attorney, you should have these five considerations in mind according to a bankruptcy lawyer from our friends at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols:
- Years of Experience
While a specific new attorney might be the best person for the job, you’ll likely find more success with a lawyer with years of experience. Legal professionals in any industry generally become better the longer they’ve been working on cases and with clients. An attorney with several years under their belt is also more likely to have worked on cases similar to yours.
- An Attorney With the Right Kind of Experience
You also want an attorney with a proven track record of producing favorable client results. While reading online reviews is a great place to start, you should ask for references of satisfied clients directly from the attorney for the best results. Upon the initial consultation, some attorneys may even be willing to provide references without you asking.
- An Attorney That Thoroughly Understands Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
As an individual, you’ll likely file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is all about liquidating debt, while Chapter 13 involves restructuring your debt. Chapter 7 is best if you have assets of value that can pay off your debt, while Chapter 13 provides a payment plan if you don’t have the assets to pay off your debt. The right attorney will thoroughly understand both processes and give you a professional opinion of which one you should choose.
- They Have Enough Time and Fit Your Budget
How much an attorney costs depends upon factors like how many assets you have and the complications associated with your case. Generally, more experienced attorneys charge more, but they often have greater success rates and can resolve your case more quickly. Besides finding an attorney within your budget, you also want to find an attorney with enough time to devote to your case. Attorneys can be busy, and your case likely won’t be the only one they’ll work on. Be sure to ask them what their schedule looks like and how much time they can devote to your case.
- How Well You Can Communicate With Them
Different people have different communication styles, and you want an attorney you can easily communicate with. A suitable attorney should be able to break down information in a way you can understand. They should also be able to answer any questions you have. Of course, you also want an attorney who is confident and capable of handling your case and will always give you their honest opinion—not just what you want to hear.
If you need a bankruptcy lawyer to represent your case, contact one in your area immediately for help.