Finding the right bankruptcy attorney for you is not an easy process. In the last several months, I have taken phone calls from 2 debtors that hired out-of-area attorneys only to be abandoned in the middle of complex Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Both paid lots of money up front only to be left without an attorney at important moments in their cases. The following suggestions might help you select the right bankruptcy attorney for you.
Choose a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. Although being a member of NACBA does not automatically make someone a good bankruptcy attorney, I know how committed the organization is to making its members better attorneys and I have met a number a great fellow bankruptcy attorneys through NACBA. The NACBA website has a very useful attorney search feature to find an attorney in your area.
Go local. Although bankruptcy is a federal law, practice and procedures still vary by jurisdiction. Practicing bankruptcy in San Diego is much different than practicing in Los Angeles or Orange County. A local attorney that is familiar with the local court procedures will also be more accessible and will not have to bill for travel time to attend hearings on your case.
Don’t shop based on price alone. Would you select a surgeon based primarily on the cost of the surgery? Certainly not and selecting a bankruptcy to diagnose and treat your financial woes should be treated with the same level of seriousness. An attorney’s fee is based on their experience as well as the time devoted to the case. If your consultation is rushed and you only receive vague answers to your questions, you can expect the attorney’s time devoted to your case to be rushed as well.
Recommendations. You would be surprised how many of your friends, co-workers and employers have filed for bankruptcy. Ask them about their experiences and if they were happy with their attorney. Business owners or professionals such as bankers, ministers, doctors, social workers and teachers might be able to give you the name of a good lawyer.
If you live in Southern California and would like to talk to me about your debt problems, please call us today at (619) 448-2129.