Why the Choice of Which Bankruptcy Attorney to Hire Is So Important

Why the Choice of Which Bankruptcy Attorney to Hire Is So Important

The right bankruptcy attorney can make a huge difference in the success of your case. This fact is often overlooked at first by prospective clients. Bankruptcy clients are struggling financially. They are often under a huge amount of stress and may be looking for a quick, cheap and easy place to end their debt nightmare. Unfortunately, this hasty way of navigating through the bankruptcy process can spell disaster.  Bankruptcy is something that you try to avoid, but if faced with the reality of filing, you want to make sure that you hire the right professional. If you do not, the following negative events can occur:

Skill And Experience

1) The attorney does not possess the requisite skill and experience to properly navigate through the case. Specifically, there are requirements that must be completed prior to the actually filing. There is a credit counseling requirement as well as the production of pay advices and taxes. If these items are not collected by the attorney, the case can be declared void from the beginning or dismissed automatically after forty-six days. It is one thing to be aware of the need for the documents and quite another to have systems in place to ensure their collection.

Shopping For The Lowest Fee

2) The attorney has quoted you a very low fee and in return, is giving you very low service. Bankruptcy attorneys are in the service business. You want to make sure that you have good access to your attorney. You want to make sure that your questions and concerns are being addressed in a thoughtful, timely and efficient manner. One of the biggest complaints that attorneys receive stems from a lack of communication and flat-out neglect. A low fee is of little value when the services you receive are sub-par. It is better to gauge the attorney on how the service will be provided rather than solely on the price that is being charged.

When An Issue Arises

3)   The attorney cannot perform when there is an issue. For example, a creditor may file an adversarial complaint in your bankruptcy case objecting to your discharge. This complaint amounts to a separate lawsuit within your bankruptcy case. You must make certain that your attorney is able to handle such a complaint. You also want to know what additional expense is going to be associated with such a lawsuit. You also may find that there are non-exempt assets that the bankruptcy trustee is looking to administer. Your lawyer must be able to negotiate effectively with the trustee or even litigate the issue of assets and exemptions before the court.

Issue Spotting

4) Your lawyer may not be able to identify all of the important issues in the case. Bankruptcy is much like a relay race. You want to effectively move from one timed event to the other without incident. The best way to avoid an incident is to see it coming and plan accordingly. Your lawyer may not be aware of all of the time periods relative to a bankruptcy case. These time periods are crucial with regard to taxes, transfer of assets, payments to creditors and more. If you can wait out certain time periods, you can avoid a long-arm action from the trustee. You can also avoid a dischargeability complaint from a creditor if certain timeframes are acknowledged. You can also ensure that your assets will not be subject to taking by the trustee.

As you can understand by now, there is so much more to a bankruptcy attorney than the fee being charged. In fact, the fee is probably one of the last things that you should concern yourself about. If you hire the right attorney, the fee will be money well spent. If you hire the wrong attorney, you may find your bankruptcy case to be a disaster. Do your homework. Check out the attorney that you are thinking of hiring. Take the time to have an office consultation and ask the important questions. You should get an instant feeling from how your questions are answered.

David Siegel has been a bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago for more than 20 years. His office is located at 19 S. LaSalle St., #707, Chicago, IL 60603. He can be reached by phone at (773) 276-6969 and on the web at http://davidmsiegel.com

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