| How to select the right attorney
to resolve your legal issues.
What's worse than declaring bankruptcy? Hiring the wrong lawyer for the job. Handling bankruptcy filings has become a volume business for many lawyers, leaving many of them overworked and unable to attend to the details of all their cases. I have seen many instances where the lawyer, paid to represent the client, doesn't even show up at the first creditor meeting with the assigned bankruptcy trustee.
Also, on-line bankruptcy form web sites want you to think you can file a bankruptcy just by purchasing their $29.99 forms. Bankruptcy mills (storefront operations offering cut-rate services) have set up shop in many places that are run by unlicensed paralegals. You need to avoid services that are inferior to what you expect or need.
Regarding bankruptcy homeowners, a less experienced lawyer might skip filing a 522f motion to remove judgments from the home. I've seen lawyers skip this step which creates a problem later when you go to sell your home. The bankruptcy itself DOES NOT remove the judgments that were filed against your home. A separate 522f motion is necessary. You wouldn't even know about this problem until years from now when you try to sell the house. Years from now, the judgments will be there along with a cumulative 9% rate of interest. Less experienced attorneys might miss the opportunity for you to entirely remove a second mortgage in a chapter 7 bankruptcy which is available under certain circumstances. A less experienced lawyer might use the WRONG exemptions (which change from time to time) forcing you to needlessly surrender money to creditors via a trustee. These are just some quick examples, although there are hundreds of other examples, that an experienced bankrutpcy lawyer takes into consideration..However, don't let any fear of selecting the wrong lawyer hinder taking action to hire a lawyer. You can use a simple chart to score and rate the lawyers. Below is a sample chart where you can simply add in your own criteria. Send us an email to request a copy of the below Excel spreadsheet which you can customize or you can create your own. Just enter a ranking in column B as to how much importance you feel each item is worth on a scaled from 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest importance. Give lawyer #1 a ranking on each item with a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is the highest. Do the same for lawyer #2. If you need to add a 3rd lawyer, add a column. As you can see from the example, Lawyer #1 is definitely the better choice.