Debt management can be challenging, primarily when you face financial difficulties. Luckily, you can remedy the problem through bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy gives you financial relief as it keeps creditors away while you plan your finances to pay the debt. However, the legal procedure can be complex and time-consuming. Additionally, you must decide whether to file liquidation Chapter 7 or reorganization Chapter 13 bankruptcies. You will need a bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process for a favorable outcome.

While you already have a family, corporate, or real estate attorney, they need to gain experience handling bankruptcy cases. You will need to find an attorney from scratch. Although challenging, finding an experienced bankruptcy legal expert will be worthwhile because they will be affordable and streamline the procedure. But what do you look for when choosing an attorney? Highlighted below are the factors you should consider when selecting the appropriate legal representative.

Expertise and Experience

The first consideration when picking an attorney for your bankruptcy case is their expertise and experience. Knowledge or skills involve the legal expert’s abilities to handle bankruptcy matters. You can tell if an attorney has the skills you require if they have gone through the education and training necessary for this profession.

Attorneys have different practice areas. Therefore, to be sure your attorney has the skills to meet your expectations, you must check if they possess the experience to practice bankruptcy law. Check their background to see if they actually practice bankruptcy law. If they do, it indicates that the legal expert you are considering has the skills and expertise to ensure a favorable case outcome.

Even with expertise, more is needed to win the case. The legal representative you are considering must possess experience, which can only be obtained by practicing bankruptcy law. Apart from the skills, you must determine the number of bankruptcy cases the attorney has handled.

How many bankruptcy cases has the attorney handled after they started to practice?

The answer to the question will help you determine the attorney’s familiarity with bankruptcy law. The more the cases dealt with, the more their understanding of the court process.

Also, you want to know how long the case will take. Bankruptcy cases are time-consuming, and you want to know how long the entire process will take. The case preparation process and filing depend highly on an attorney’s experience. If the professional you are considering has handled many cases like yours previously, then they know the documents they must prepare and what to do to speed up the process. When you can provide all the documentation needed to file for insolvency on time, the attorney will evaluate them quickly and guide you on the best bankruptcy type.

An attorney's experience is critical when determining the duration and outcome of your case. When you hire a novice, the procedure will take longer because they must consult with more experienced attorneys before recommending a suitable form of bankruptcy. This is likely to harm you because while they review your case, creditors and debt collection agencies will be on your neck demanding payment.

Therefore, when you decide bankruptcy is the way to go, you must commence the procedure immediately to be placed under the automatic stay. Here, creditors are prohibited by the court from any debt collection activity until the end of the stay. An experienced bankruptcy legal representative will immediately evaluate your case and file for insolvency, stopping the harassment from debt collectors and giving you a clean slate directly. Therefore, selecting an experienced legal expert for the job is best if you have decided to file for bankruptcy.

A combination of expertise and experience will streamline the bankruptcy process. You will identify the documents needed for the process and the correct bankruptcy form based on your financial circumstances. Before making the final decision, you should check the attorney’s website for testimonials, or services such as Yelp or Google. Customer feedback from the attorney’s website can tell you what to expect when you enlist a particular legal expert for representation. You can hire an attorney for representation if most clients seem happy from the testimonials.

Bespoke Services 

Even though hiring an experienced attorney should be a priority, you should only consider them if they have a few clients to represent in bankruptcy cases. It would help if you had a lawyer who could dedicate their time and resources to your suit for a favorable outcome. An experienced legal representative with an accumulation of lawsuits is unsuitable for your case because they will not give you the personalized or bespoke attention your bankruptcy case needs for a favorable outcome. Without giving your case enough attention, the skills and experience will not be enough to obtain a win. You want to pick a counsel who will meet you face to face or answer your phone whenever you call.

All bankruptcy cases are different, even those filed under the same chapter. Just because someone is filing for insolvency under the same chapter as you does not make your needs the same. The circumstances are different, so you need a legal representative who will understand these unique circumstances and offer tailored services based on these needs.

For a tailored or bespoke service, an attorney must take time to evaluate your case and interview you. The best way to understand your situation is by listening to every detail and analyzing all the relevant information. A legal expert who can manage this is one with a few clients to handle simultaneously. They will not take the time to evaluate and understand your lawsuit if they have a busy schedule. This could apply the same strategy used on a different client in yours without knowing whether the system will work. Not all insolvency cases end with a positive outcome. And because you are spending money to file for insolvency, you want to avoid losing your money and ending up in more financial crises than before.

Steer clear of bankruptcy law firms that handle hundreds of cases simultaneously. You risk your case being assigned to an intern as the experienced attorneys focus on better-paying clients. Again, even if a professional legal expert is assigned your case, they could have many cases to handle, denying you the time and resources you need for a favorable result. Hire a professional who is only one call away and willing to be in your corner until the case is concluded.

Affordable Prices

Another factor to look for in a bankruptcy attorney is an affordable rate. The prices for bankruptcy services differ from one attorney to another depending on many factors. Therefore, you might not want to just hire the first attorney you come across. Instead, evaluate price quotations from different legal experts for an informed decision. You have already experienced financial problems and your last wish is to further dent your finances by hiring an expensive attorney.

Luckily, many bankruptcy attorneys understand that you are having financial problems when you go knocking on their doors. And so, they offer uncompromised services at affordable prices. Nonetheless, if you want to save money, do not hire an attorney solely based on their low prices. Ask for thorough quotes from the various lawyers or law firms you are considering, then evaluate each one to avoid paying the lowest prices on the market and receiving subpar services.

Avoid those with the lowest rates because they could be using the prices to appeal to clients but not to keep their end of the bargain. You should find out if the rates offered are all-inclusive to avoid hidden charges that could leave you paying more than you had budgeted.

Also, those charging the highest rates in the market only sometimes guarantee quality representation. Therefore, pick an attorney offering their services at reasonable prices. Even with affordable prices, you want to learn if the rates are for a comprehensive service.

Additionally, some attorneys charge hourly, while others have a flat rate. It is recommendable to opt for the flat rate because it will pay for comprehensive services.

Local Practice 

It is essential to work with a bankruptcy law firm in your area. Despite the fact that states adopt federal bankruptcy laws, they all have their own set of rules. If you are in California, you need a bankruptcy attorney that understands state bankruptcy statutes for a smooth case. Additionally, the attorney must understand the local bankruptcy court's processes, rules, and judges. Your attorney will expedite the bankruptcy process and increase your chances of a successful outcome if they follow the rules and procedures set forth by the court.

A lawyer familiar with the court and the local judge will feel more at ease arguing your case. Familiarity with the procedures, judges, and rules will streamline the procedure and be advantageous to you.

On the other hand, if you choose an attorney who is unfamiliar with the procedures and rules of the local court, you will encounter many difficulties that could delay the filing and, as a result, negatively impact your case.

Attorney’s Reputation

The reputation of a bankruptcy lawyer is greatly influenced by how previous clients feel about their character or abilities. So, you should check an attorney’s reputation when hiring. Speaking to former clients is the best way to learn about an attorney’s reputation. When contacting these previous clients, ask about their experiences in the hands of the bankruptcy attorney you are considering and whether they would recommend them. The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about an attorney’s reputation.

Every law firm and legal expert has a presence online today, either through social media or websites. Previous, current, and prospective clients can interact through these platforms. Most previous customers will share their experiences through these sites or platforms. Therefore, if you are looking for information about an attorney you are considering, you can find it through testimonials. If most of these clients seem satisfied with the services they received, the legal expert is credible, and you can select him/her for representation in your bankruptcy case.

An Individual or Group of Bankruptcy Attorneys

You will hardly find an attorney working alone. Most of them work for or run law firms and collaborate with other employees to ensure the bankruptcy process runs smoothly. Due to their complexity, there is a lot of consultation. Therefore, you will likely achieve your expectations after the case if you work with a strong team, including an attorney and a qualified paralegal.

Also, if the law firm has multiple attorneys that practice bankruptcy, this can prove to advantageous to your case. Now even though you might only work with one attorney, they have the ability to bounce ideas regarding your case on the other attorney or attorneys. You are now getting multiple experts helping you on your case for the price of one.

Attorney’s Availability

Your bankruptcy case can take a toll on your finances and emotions. If you are filing for bankruptcy, you are already going through the most challenging time of your life. You need someone by your side through these difficult times and that you can reach when needed. In addition to providing legal counsel, your lawyer ought to be understanding. You need a professional who will be available during and after the case.

When hiring, you should find out if the lawyer will be involved from the beginning of the process until you obtain a fresh financial start or just during a specific phase. In your first meeting with the attorney you are considering, find out if they will be physically available. And if physical arrangements are impossible, find out how long it will take them to answer your calls and when you should call. If you are comfortable with their availability, you should hire them.

Find the Right Modesto Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me

When looking for a clean slate in your finances, you need an experienced bankruptcy attorney. The right legal representative will give you an advantage in the case. Even with California flooded with bankruptcy lawyers, it is difficult to find the right one. To choose the best lawyer, take into account aspects like experience, reputation, availability, and expertise. For legal representation or more information on bankruptcy, the Modesto Bankruptcy Attorneys is ready to help. Call us today at 209-314-3010 for a zero-obligation consultation.