Written by attorney Mark Allen Reed

Bankruptcy Attorney---Choosing the Right One

Bankruptcy can be the biggest burden to an individual, small business or a multi-million dollar corporation. Most people consider filing bankruptcy when either they cannot afford to continue paying their bills or their home is threatened with foreclosure. Of course, these are not all encompassing.

Finding a lawyer for this kind of devastating problem is relatively easy. Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in bankruptcy law and can provide legal methods for an individual or commercial enterprise to either wipe out the debts by liquidating assets and distributing them among creditors or resolve them by developing a court approved reorganization plan, or the plan or other plan involving the repayment of the creditors over time.

Bankruptcy attorneys explain the applications of bankruptcy laws and its applications. Including how they function to relieve individuals and businesses from indebtedness and provide a fresh financial start. Title 11 of the United States Code or the bankruptcy code regulates the bankruptcy proceedings, including what chapter under which a debtor may file, what bills can be eliminated, how long payments may be extended, what possessions can be kept, and all other details regarding the bankruptcy.

If the debtors or their lawyers set off the bankruptcy it is called a voluntary bankruptcy. If the creditors or their attorney initiate the bankruptcy it is called an involuntary bankruptcy.

Of course, no one wants to hire a bankruptcy attorney that basically does nothing. There are 13 tips on how you can choose the best attorney who can handle bankruptcy.

  1. Never dawdle. Don't find a legal helper that lingers on your case. Waiting until the last minute won't give you the time you need to find a good attorney. And it won't give a good attorney enough time to adequately prepare for your case.
  2. Never just ask any friends of yours for referrals. It should take a friend who has undergone bankruptcy for her or him to lead you to a good and eligible legal helper.
  3. Always ask for suggestions from legal professionals. Find a bankruptcy lawyer at the circle of your acquaintances. If you have a personal attorney, start there. Keep in mind, however, that bankruptcy law is a specialty, so if your lawyer offers to handle the case as part of your usual retainer, make sure he knows his way around bankruptcy court.
  4. Ask questions. You should ask the lawyers these following questions:
  • What time frame do you have for this bankruptcy?
  • How much access will I have to an attorney during my bankruptcy filing?
  • What are my total costs?

  • Evaluate the responses. Because bankruptcy law is a volume business, the time you'll actually be working with a specific attorney may be small. In fact, with most consumer bankruptcies, the client works with a clerk or a paralegal; your actual attorney won't come into play until your day in court.

  • Understand your role. Be attentive and always bear in mind that you are part of the picture. Be able to identify your roles.

  • Don't hire the cheapest bankruptcy attorney. You will be putting yourself to an even more cost if you do not have enough budget for an attorney. Sometimes the old adage, “you get what you pay for" is correct.

  • Get fee specifics. Be able to know the amount of money it is going to cost you. What is included in the lawyer's fee, and what is not? When you're hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you should remember that it's not just who you know, but what you know and what you're willing to learn and who you feel comfortable with.

Additional resources provided by the author;

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer