Once you have decided that you are interested in filing for bankruptcy, the next step is to find an attorney to help you. But how do you know if you have found a good attorney. Should you hire the one with the most ads or best webpage? Maybe the old guy! He has probably done this before, right?
The decision is hard. Here are a couple of things to look for:
Online reviews can be a good place to start. There are many places a client can leave a review. Yelp, AVVO, the Better Business Bureau and Google are great places to start. Yelp, AVVO, and the BBB are all paid services. As attorneys we pay to have advertisements on these websites. However none of the sites allow us to pay for reviews. Google also allows people to leave reviews. Remember that unhappy people are a lot more likely to leave a review so take the negative reviews with a grain of salt. Look for patterns of complaints or patterns of happy clients. When I last checked I had several positive reviews on Google and one negative review on the BBB. In that particular case the client and I were able to resolve our issue but the BBB had not removed the negative review.
Another good idea is to ask your friends. Bankruptcy is a lot more common than you think. I know it is embarrassing to talk about but if you open the conversation discreetly people will be happy to tell you about their experiences. Who was their lawyer? Were they happy with their representation? Did they work with lawyer or were they just assigned to a paralegal? Most importantly, did the person get the outcome they expected?
3) In person consultation
Most lawyers offer a free consultation at their office. As a potential client you should use that opportunity to see if you are comfortable with the attorney. Ask a few questions about your case. The truth is that most of the cases are pretty similar. After doing this for 10 years I have seen just about every bad financial decision a person can make. I feel confident that I can advise the client about both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options. Can the attorney you are meeting with explain things to you clearly? Make sure they are not just there to sell you on bankruptcy. Also make sure the person you are meeting with really is an attorney. Many law firms use paralegals to perform the initial consultations. While a paralegal is a valuable employee at a law firm, they are not bound by the ethical standards as an attorney.
Remember the single most important factor in hiring a bankruptcy attorney is your comfort level with him or her.
The Wegner Law firm represents people in Fort Worth, Keller, Arlington and surrounding areas including Denton and Parker County. I help people file for bankruptcy relief and I provide a free consultation. Please give me a call or schedule an appointment yourself on my website.
Have a great day!