6 Characteristics of a Good Bankruptcy Attorney

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6 Characteristics of a Good Bankruptcy Attorney

If you’re hiring a bankruptcy attorney for the first time you might be unsure of what to expect. What makes a good attorney? How can you know if the attorney you’re speaking to is the best one for your case? You should always consult more than one attorney before making your final decision. However, when you’re looking for an attorney to retain, keep the following six characteristics of a good bankruptcy lawyer in mind.

Competency

Your bankruptcy attorney is obligated to provide you with competent advice. That includes telling you whether or not bankruptcy is your best option, and, if they think it is, to give you advice about the process. They should be able to tell you which chapter of bankruptcy you should file for, how to successfully reach your financial goals, how to make the process easier, what to expect, and whether your case contains any risks or difficulties.

Ability

Just because an attorney is knowledgeable about bankruptcy doesn’t always mean they’re able to handle your case. In order to be successful, your attorney must be familiar with all the federal, state, and local court laws and procedures and be able to navigate them in order to arrive at a favorable outcome for you. Additionally, your attorney should be able to handle a wide range of difficulty when it comes to bankruptcy cases. Depending on whether you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 and taking the individual factors into consideration, your case might be challenging to file. Make sure your attorney can handle it. Looking at his or her past record might be a good place to start.

Communication

You’re paying your attorney to do more than just file your paperwork. Additionally, you’re hiring them to help you through the process, keep you updated, and inform you about what’s going on and what you can expect. If you hire your attorney and never hear from them again, or if calls to their office go unanswered, you might want to think again about continuing with that particular attorney.

Timeliness

There are many deadlines that you’re required to meet when filing the various paperwork involved in bankruptcy cases. Your attorney should know about these and be ahead of the game, ensuring that every deadline is met. If your attorney misses deadlines it can cause a number of consequences. These consequences can be as simple as delaying the process or as devastating as having your case dismissed entirely. Punctuality is an expectation you should have of any attorney you hire.

Preparation

When you retain a bankruptcy attorney, you should expect that your lawyer will help you complete and file all the necessary paperwork. You’ll have to provide him or her with all the necessary information that goes on the forms, but the attorney’s office will probably have software that can fill out the necessary paperwork. Additionally, your attorney should check for errors and omissions and ensure your paperwork is up to par.

Representation

Finally, your bankruptcy attorney should go with you to court when you have mandatory hearings. One such hearing is called the meeting of creditors, or the 341 hearing. If your bankruptcy case calls for it, there may be additional hearings you have to go to. Your attorney should go with you to these hearings if you’re required to attend. If you’re not required to attend the hearing your bankruptcy attorney should still go on your behalf and represent your interests.

Your attorney should be there for you through the entire process. If they ask you to do all the paperwork yourself, don’t answer your phone calls, or otherwise fail to uphold the six responsibilities listed above, you should probably seek out a new attorney. No matter what type of bankruptcy you have, it’s always advisable to seek out a qualified, experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area to make sure you’re getting the best representation and outcome possible.

 

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