As an Asheville bankruptcy attorney, I spend lots of time explaining the process of filing a case with prospective clients. I chose to be a bankruptcy lawyer because it makes me feel good to deliver hope in situations which seem hopeless. I usually have good news for folks who see me for initial bankruptcy consultations about their various options. Hearing from past clients who have turned their financial lives around is my favorite part of the job.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a bankruptcy laywer:
Is the attorney in it for the right reasons?
The number one thing I would recommend looking for in a bankruptcy attorney is passion. If a bankruptcy lawyer is just going through the motions during a consultation, and acting indifferently about your situation, they are likely to overlook key facts in your case. Or, more likely, they will be late returning your telephone calls and emails. An attorney doing the work for the right reasons will be better informed, and more pleasant to work with.
Is the attorney willing to carefully explain your options?
A bankruptcy attorney should be able (and willing!) to speak intelligently about all of your different options. Sometimes, folks need a simple Chapter 7 case to move on their life. But better options frequently exist. For instance, many ‘judgment proof’ people do not have to take any action at all in order to protect their property and achieve their goals. They can avoid bankruptcy altogether. Or, Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases can work better for secured debt issues, and when non-exempt property exists. Knowing all your options is essential to making the right decision.
How much attorney time are you buying for the fee charged?
A bankruptcy attorney should also charge a fee commensurate with the services they provide. Bankruptcy ‘mills’ often have a large number of paralegals who do almost all the interacting with clients. I’ve heard horror stories where people speak with their attorney for the first time at the meeting of creditors. Because Michelle and I are a small, two-person bankruptcy law firm, we stay informed about our clients’ cases and are able to provide more personalized service for the fees we charge. You’ll meet with me at the initial consultation, petition signing, meeting of creditors, and any other necessary hearings. It is smart to know not just what the fee is, but also what you are getting for that fee.
If you already know that you would like to set up a free, initial bankruptcy consultation, and live in Western North Carolina, I would be pleased to meet with you either at my Asheville office or over the phone.
*The information contained on this website is not intended and does not constitute the providing of any legal advice or any legal opinions or services to any user thereof. The information available on or through this web page is not intended and shall not be used as a substitute for the advice and consultation provided by an attorney. Any factual examples used to illustrate concepts are hypothetical and do not depict actual events or real persons.