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Choosing The Right Bankruptcy Lawyer
Choosing the Right Attorney
Bankruptcy is an extremely complex category of federal law and the bankruptcy code book is thousands of pages long. Kindness, demeanor, and honesty are all very important characteristics your attorney should have, but it is also important that they be very well versed in the bankruptcy code. Unless you know someone in the business it can be difficult to differentiate between lawyers, but choosing the wrong one may end up costing you thousands of dollars. Here are some factors you may want to consider when deciding who to hire:
Does Your Lawyer Just File Bankruptcies?
Due to the downturn in the economy there has been hundreds of lawyers practicing in other areas of law that have jumped into filing bankruptcy. Because of the complexity of the federal bankruptcy code you may want to consider a lawyer who focuses their practice exclusively on bankruptcy. This is an indication that they are an expert in the bankruptcy code and will be able to address your financial needs with competence.
Are They a Member of Local Law Associations?
Someone who is a member of local law associations volunteers their time to go to meetings and discuss concerns that are affecting the bankruptcy community as a whole. These lawyers show an interest in the actual topic of bankruptcy law rather than just making a profit. In addition, they are more likely to be informed of any new changes or trends within the courts.
Are They in Good Standing With the State Bar?
As with any other type of lawyer, you can check with the California state bar to see if there has been any complaints or sanctions filed against any attorney licensed to practice in California.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A BANKRUPTCY LAWYER
If you want someone who will sit down with you face to face to discuss your case and who will personally represent you at your meeting of creditors and other court hearings then you may want to choose a local attorney.
The bankruptcy process can be extremely stressful and this stress can be exacerbated if your attorney is not promptly returning you phone calls. You may want to ask about the lawyer’s availability during your first free consultation.
Demeanor and Personality
An Attorney/Client relationship is just that, a relationship. Communication is key in any legal process and is especially important in bankruptcy law. You have to feel like you can really talk to and understand your attorney. Your first consultation is a good way to decide if you like them. Make sure to ask them all the questions you have. You should leave your first consultation knowing much more about bankruptcy than you did walking in.
Ask your attorney how many cases they have filed. Ask them where they practice predominately. It is also a good idea to ask them how often they go to court and if they are familiar with the trustee’s in the division you are filing in. Different bankruptcy courts and trustees have different procedures and oftentimes have different requests or demands. It is very important that your attorney understand the local culture of the court in order for you to receive the best legal representation possible.
As a person filing for bankruptcy, price is probably high on your list of qualifiers when choosing an attorney. The price that is charged to you should be explained to you in detail as should the duties owed to you by your lawyer.
How you choose your lawyer is up to you. Just remember, the time to decide if you want to hire an attorney is during your first free consultation. Use that opportunity to find out as much as possible about the perspective attorney and their qualifications. At the Oakland Law Offices of Melanie Tavare we offer a no obligation free consultation that allows the client to make their own decision as to whether or not to retain our services.
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For your free case evaluation, call today to schedule your appointment
The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."
"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."
"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."
"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."