If you are like many men and women in the 21st century, you may have found yourself literally drowning in debt. As a result, you may have made the touch decision to file for bankruptcy. In this regard, you may be wondering what steps that you need to take to determine how to find and choose a bankruptcy attorney. Indeed, there are some specific steps you need to take in order to determine how to find and choose an appropriate attorney.
1. The first step in how to find and choose a bankruptcy attorney is to contact the local bar association in your community. While your local bar association will not make any specific recommendations about a particular lawyer, your local bar association will provide you with a list of lawyers in your community that specialize specifically in the practice of bankruptcy law. Because bankruptcy is such a specialized area of the law, it is vital that you obtain a lawyer that is specifically trained and experienced in the practice of bankruptcy law. Additionally, there are lawyers that specialize in consumer bankruptcy law and commercial or business bankruptcy law. Depending on what type of bankruptcy case you will be filing -- consumer or personal, commercial or business -- will depend on what type of lawyer you actually will want to retain. (There are also lawyers who specialize in agricultural bankruptcies. Agriculture bankruptcies are also specialized and require the assistance of specifically trained attorneys.)
2. The second step in how to find a bankruptcy attorney is to listen to what your friends, family members and colleagues have to say about one attorney or another. In this high-tech age, many people overlook the benefits of word of mouth. In the final analysis, some of the best information that you can obtain about a lawyer even in this age of high-tech communications is through word of mouth. Chances are very good that you know a friend, family member or colleague who has had to go through a bankruptcy. Find out what that person or those persons have to say about the lawyer or lawyers that they have used for their own bankruptcy cases.
3. The third step in how to find a bankruptcy attorney involves doing an Internet search about the specific lawyers that you have on your list of potential attorneys to assist you in your own bankruptcy case. Oftentimes on the Net, you will be able to find newspaper articles, bar association notices and other information about lawyers. By reviewing this information, you will be able to develop a clearer picture about the business and background of particular bankruptcy lawyers that you are considering employing.
4. As you continue to narrow down your list of attorneys, you will reach the step at which you will want to arrange face to face meetings with a few of the "finalists" on your list of potential lawyers. In so many ways, there is nothing more important than meeting with a lawyer face to face before you engage that attorney. You can sum up a lawyer easier when you are able to see and hear them in person.
5. The final step in how to find and choose a bankruptcy attorney involves making the decision to go with a particular lawyer. At this juncture, you will want your new lawyer to provide you with a specific contract that lays out what your lawyer will do for you, what services he or she will provide. In addition, you will want to make certain that the lawyer specifically lays out what he or she will be charging you in the way of fees and how those fees will be paid by you. (In most instances, the fees that are assessed to you by your lawyer must be approved by the bankruptcy court. Therefore, in many instances, you will not pay attorney fees relating to a bankruptcy case up front.)
By following these steps to how to find and choose a bankruptcy attorney, you will be in the best possible position to choose and select a bankruptcy lawyer that will best meet your particular needs. As a result, you will have the best possible chance to truly bring order to your chaotic financial house both in the short and the long term.