Shopping around for a bankruptcy attorney? How to choose the right attorney for YOU?

Written by: leonora  |  Published on: October 4th, 2010  |  Category: Blog

Why going to the “99 Cent” store type attorney may not be your best option. You are not looking for a bankruptcy attorney when you have a ton of money at your disposal to spend on legal fees to do a bankruptcy you are not sure you need. You are looking for an attorney, because you don’t have the money and need legal advice. You know better than to try to do your bankruptcy and frankly you wouldn’t know where to begin.

I like a bargain as much as the next girl. Trust me. This weekend I was exited about the 5cent sale at BevMo (no this is not a story about the girl who likes wine…) and dragged my boyfriend (mainly for muscle) to go with me. However, on the way to BevMo we passed a Payless Shoe Store with a “Sale” sign. My boyfriend looked over at me and I knew what he was thinking. “Are you excited about this sale as well?” because I spent the morning praising my love for sales. I responded, “not at all!” I like a good deal, but if it comes at the cost of quality, it ceases to be a good deal.

I am a firm believer that good deals are possible, but if quality is at issue and you sacrifice on quality, you will end up spending more at the end.

This morning, I receive a call from a woman looking for a bankruptcy attorney. I discussed her situation with her and then she requested a price quote. Knowing the basics of her situation, I gave her an estimate. This estimate is based on her assets, her debts, the bankruptcy Chapter we would likely file, and her situation in general. She then revealed, “to be honest I am just shopping around. This guy gave me a lower price than yours, but he is far away…I am just looking for a good attorney.” I didn’t want to state the obvious.

I suggested that the woman take her time and meet with a few attorneys she spoke with to see what she will get for her money and to simply see if there is an attorney that stands out from the crowd. I explained that I understand that price is critical. It is for all of us (not related to Bill Gates). However, a “cheap” attorney, is like a cheap pair of shoes or a cheap used car – the money you “save” may be less than the money you have to spend to fix the problem or find a replacement.

I would like to suggest that you focus on the following when picking an attorney:

  1. Does the attorney take the time to personally meet with you and listen to your situation?
  2. Does the attorney answer your questions?
  3. Does the attorney guide you through what you may expect when you file for bankruptcy and what documents you need?
  4. Is the attorney open for follow-up questions and appointments?
  5. Is the attorney available to you when questions/concerns come up?
  6. Is the attorney’s practice focused on bankruptcy or is this an area of law they are getting into because business is slow?
  7. Who will review your documents and prepare your bankruptcy documents? The attorney (you are paying for this) or his paralegal/secretary?
  8. Will the attorney be there with you at the meeting of creditors or will he send an attorney who doesn’t know you and your case?

I sincerely hope that you find the right attorney for YOU. Take the time to not only find an attorney you can afford, but also an attorney who will take care of you and your case to get you the best possible resolution. Taking the time may make the difference between looking back at your bankruptcy filing as a stepping-stone to a better future or an experience that leaves you feeling cheated and angry.

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We help people file for bankruptcy, in addition to other legal services. As such, we are designated a debt relief agency by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.This site is for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this site is legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created until a written agreement is entered into and signed by you and Leonora Gorelik. Law Offices of Leonora Gorelik 3835 Hayvenhurst Ave. Encino, CA 91436