What to Look for When Seeking Legal Representation
Recent studies show that four out of every five Americans are struggling with some variety of debt. Typically, this takes the form of high credit card balances, a mortgage, student loan debt, or a large amount of medical debt from an unexpected healthcare need. Any one of these can make a person feel like they’re underwater and have no control over their own finances, especially if they’ve found themselves out of work or unable to obtain gainful employment.
In certain situations, sometimes it makes the most financial sense to file for bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy can seem like a scary concept to some people, it has served as a financial reset for Americans who’ve been unable to get out of debt under their own accord. To give a quick overview, bankruptcy is the legal process that gets you out of debt based on your ability to repay. There are many factors that go into which type of bankruptcy you can file for – namely, your household income, assets, and the amount and type of debt that you have. There’s also the issue of whether you’ll be filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
For most Americans, filing for bankruptcy is going to be a new concept because it’s something they only do once in their lifetime. In order to get the process started, the first official step you’ll take is securing legal representation who will serve as your advocate through the proceedings. Bankruptcy law is a common practice and you will have a wide selection of lawyers to represent you. This begs the question, “Which bankruptcy attorney is right for me?”
Here are some of the main things you should look for when hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
The attorney should reside in your state. When searching for bankruptcy lawyers, make sure you keep your list of legal candidates to those local to your area. Although bankruptcy code is technically under the federal body of law, it’s going to be most beneficial to you to have a lawyer that is close by for any in-person meetings that may be required.
Look for an attorney that is affiliated with the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Established in 1992, the NACBA is a national organization that was formed to ensure that the voices of consumer debtors and their attorneys are heard in the halls of Congress and other related arenas. The organization helps bankruptcy attorneys represent their clients more efficiently, so it behooves you as a client to have an attorney that is NACBA-affiliated. Look for this credential when vetting your list of potential bankruptcy lawyers.
Look for experience and client satisfaction. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting the best representation possible is by hiring an attorney with experience that specializes in the field of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy law is complex and requires expertise in negotiating with many different types of creditors, including healthcare providers, credit card companies, and banks. You’ll also want to make sure that the bankruptcy attorney you hire has a lengthy track record of satisfied clients. If you don’t have a personal referral, look for client testimonials posted online.
The attorney should be a good fit. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney is a big decision. They are not all created equal, and some are going to be better suited to you and your situation than others. This is why it’s important to vet your attorney in-person. Most attorneys offer prospective clients a free consultation so that they can evaluate your case and answer common questions. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you should definitely take advantage of this so that you can get an idea of the attorney’s communication style, their experience, and find out what their fees are. Remember, this is the person that’s going to be representing you for the duration of the bankruptcy process, which could take several months or more. It’s important that you feel confident in their abilities and comfortable with their style of communication with you as a client.
Experienced and client-friendly Denver bankruptcy attorneys are available should you find yourself in a situation where your debt is overwhelming you and are considering filing for bankruptcy. Take the first step and schedule a consultation to find out what your options are. Bankruptcy isn’t always the answer, but for some individuals, it makes the most financial sense and ends up saving them thousands of dollars in assets and property.