Professional Intimacy/Personal Attention
After deciding to file for bankruptcy, the only obstacle in your road to financial freedom is the successful filing and completion of your case. That is why it is imperative that your bankruptcy attorney be able to give your case the attention it needs. Many bankruptcy attorneys run what attorneys like to call "mill practices". In other words, the office focuses on quantity rather than quality. Filing bankruptcy can be a very complicated process and the attorney you hire MUST know your case inside out. The attorney must be very familiar with your assets and income. I have witnessed too many 341 meetings where the attorney present was not the attorney the client hired. This leads to unnecessary delays and stress for the client as the US Trustee will have questions that the attorney "covering" the 341 will not know how to answer; therefore forcing the Trustee to continue the case until his questions are adequately addressed.
Bankruptcy is a very specialized field of law that many lawyers ASSUME they understand. A quick glance at the rather large Bankruptcy Code dictates the complex nature of bankruptcy laws. When looking for a bankruptcy attorney, make sure the attorney handling your case is an experienced in bankruptcy law. The years the attorney has practiced law in general is irrelevant; make sure he has filed and handled at least 50 bankruptcy cases from inception to completion before retaining their services.
Never hire the first bankruptcy attorney you consult with. I would suggest meeting with at least 3 attorneys before deciding on one. You and your attorney will be working together for the next couple of months, so make sure to hire an attorney you are comfortable with.
An attorney should never "guarantee" the outcome of a case. There are way too many variables in any particular case to "guarantee" an outcome. For example, just because you passed the "means test" does not mean your case will succeed. The Trustee in the case might file a motion to dismiss based on "totality of circumstances". Your attorney should be able to give you his professional opinion as to the likelihood your case will succeed; but never "guarantee" an outcome.