Friday, September 2, 2011

Bankruptcy Attorneys and Wine: How to Find

“Discount Bankruptcy”, “Affordable Bankruptcy”, “Attorney For Bankruptcy Best Price”, “Bankruptcy Special”. How do you Google to find a bankruptcy attorney? I, of course, have no idea what you type into search engines to find an bankruptcy attorney, but based on phone call I receive on a regular basis, I imagine the aforesaid search phrases are within the scope of what people use. These calls are typically someone indicating that they have made up their mind that they need to file bankruptcy, and want to know what it will cost. 

While, on the surface this may seem fine, but after questioning them a little, in almost every case, they have made up their mind about filing bankruptcy without ever knowing anything about bankruptcy. All they know is they are having financial difficulty, and the cure for this disease is called “bankruptcy”. Its analogous to saying I'm sick, give me some medicine. Bankruptcy is simply much more complicated than that.

Actually, for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, most competent bankruptcy attorneys charge within a range of prices that are pretty close to each other. Many courts have established a presumptively reasonable fee attorneys can charge for these bankruptcies. Of course, some attorneys might charge less than others because they need the work. But you will seldom find attorneys charging more than the presumptive fee because then they have to answer to the Court as to why they are charging a higher fee.

So, how should you search for an attorney. Well, I relate it to purchasing a bottle of wine. Have you ever shopped for wine and found you have absolutely no idea how good the wine is based on price? I have found it's nearly impossible to tell the quality of the wine based on price. The same goes for bankruptcy. One should be searching for the quality of the attorney, in such ways as his or her experience, and fit, just like all wines do not fit all people. This can not be determined by price. Finding the cheapest attorney is a total crap shoot. 

One should check out whether the attorney does adversarial hearings, and if so, does it cost extra; how long the attorney has been doing bankruptcies, what organizations he or she is active with that relates to bankruptcy, his or her training and experience, and how long it will take that attorney to get your bankruptcy filed once the attorney has all the information need to generate the paperwork for the Court. You can also check with other people that may have used, or know, a specific attorney you are thinking about using to get feedback. See if you can find out the attorney's reputation in the community, and among other attorneys.

Try to find the attorney that is truly a good fit for you, giving you the time you require to alleviate stress some experience in going through the bankruptcy process, has a personality that clicks with yours, has the proper education and experience to make you comfortable that you have a competent attorney, and of course, a price you will be happy with. Once you have found this, the bankruptcy will not only be easier on you, but you can rest assured that nothing unexpected should happen through the process.

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