How To Choose A Bankruptcy Attorney

10 Jun How To Choose A Bankruptcy Attorney

My colleague and friend, Wendell Sherk wrote a great comment on the illusion of picking an attorney based on what is charged for a “simple bankruptcy.”  His post captures what every consumer bankruptcy attorney hears all the time: “How much will you charge for a simple case?”

The truth is that not all cases are simple.  If you hire an attorney to file a simple case, he or she might do just that, and miss the complexities and intricacies that could save you money and property.

There are a number of things to consider when hiring an attorney.  In my opinion, the two most important are that you can talk to him or her, and that he or she has the knowledge and experience to guide you.

First, can you talk to him or her?  Don’t hire someone who you don’t feel comfortable speaking with.    You are going to disclose all of your assets and debts.  That’s a lot of personal information to tell someone, so you need to be able to converse freely.  Further, you have to feel comfortable listening to the attorney – it’s that advice that is going to guide you through this process.

Second, find someone knowledgeable and experienced as a bankruptcy attorney.  The more I practice, the more I learn.  An attorney who has been practicing in this field for a while brings to the table all the experience and the knowledge he or she has gained from filing similar cases.  Just knowing the traps and tricks is invaluable, and that can only be learned with education and experience.

If you pay a little more than the guy who was going to do it cheaper, you’ll probably get what you paid for.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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