29 Dec Your Bankruptcy Attorney And You – There Is No I In Team
Your Bankruptcy Attorney and you are a team, no doubt about it. So, please choose your bankruptcy attorney wisely because you are going to be spending quite a bit of time with him or her and their staff. Since the new bankruptcy law took effect in October 2005, the amount of paperwork in bankruptcy has quadrupled and the time spent planning, preparing and signing the documents involved has increased dramatically.
So, the best advice I can give to you prior to the new year celebration is to take the time necessary to get to know your bankruptcy attorney well, and you may even ask to meet with members of their staff so that you know who you are dealing with.
When I say choose wisely, you must remember that you are choosing a bankruptcy attorney based upon their credentials first and foremost. You need to know that this attorney is competent to handle your legal affairs. You cannot rely on a slick yellow page advertisement to make your decision.
You need to do your homework first. Ask your friends about different bankruptcy attorneys. If you do not want to discuss your financial problems with a friend and prefer looking on the internet, then by all means, jump right to step number 2. I believe a personal recommendation from a friend is one of the highest endorsements that an attorney can receive. However, I also understand that many individuals do not discuss their personal financial situation with their friends.
Next comes the meeting with the Attorney. Please make sure you are prepared for the meeting with the attorney. Many, if not all, consumer bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This is your opportunity to find out whether this person is the bankruptcy attorney for you. I prepare for all of my initial consultations because I am looking at this person and asking myself: Do I want to work with this person? Will this person trust me enough to let me guide them through this process? Will this person be there when I call requesting additional documentation? Will this person be nice to me and my staff? Will this person see this case through to the end?
Ask yourself: Did they really listen to me? Did they answer my questions? Will they take my calls? Will they return my calls? Will they handle my case or will I be outsourced? ( This is a tough call for many individuals because they do not understand the nature of how a consumer bankruptcy practice works.) Please understand that your attorney will not be working on this file alone. He or she should have an Administrative Assistant or a Paralegal or both.
Assistants and Paralegals serve a very important role in the Attorney Client Relationship, and therefore, it is important for you to understand this role from the beginning so that you never feel like you are being thrown around from person to person.
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