Chances are good that you’ve never filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy before, which means it’s hard to know what to look for when you hire a bankruptcy lawyer in Orlando.
Should you go with a large firm with bright billboards and name-brand lawyers, or a smaller firm that flies under the radar but offers personalized service? We’ve prepared this guide on how to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to illustrate the values your law firm should put forth, from your first phone call all the way through to the satisfaction of your bankruptcy case.
Here are some questions you may want to ask in your search for an excellent bankruptcy attorney:
- Did you meet directly with the attorney who will be representing you(instead of sending a paralegal in his or her place), and did he or she answer any questions in a timely manner?
- Did an attorney address your concerns honestly and transparently. There should be no surprises about bankruptcy payments, or the bankruptcy process!
- Did your attorney discuss your goals in a way that feels comfortable and responsible to you. After all, you are the one building a new financial future, not your attorney. Every initial consultation should include a discussion of your goals and what you hope to get out of the bankruptcy process.
Let’s talk about #1 first. In order to have confidence in your attorney, you must know your attorney. This means you’re not pawned off onto a paralegal from Day 1. Several clients who have switched to our firm have told us they never even met their former lawyer. You should have confidence that your attorney will respond to phone calls and emails within 1-2
Your attorney should also go to court with you for your 341 meeting to address your creditors. Some Orlando bankruptcy lawyers hire one of the several attorneys who sit on the courthouse steps in the mornings to stand in for them at these meetings. When interviewing attorneys, ask them: do you care enough about me and my case to stand by my side in court?
For #2: your lawyer should be able to answer questions like “What is my monthly Chapter 13 payment going to be?” and “Will I have to surrender any property in my Chapter 7?” He or she should also provide you with a thorough timeline of what happens next, so you’re informed every step of the way.
For #3: you call the shots. Your bankruptcy attorney is a trusted adviser helping you navigate the law, not a pushy crusader who forces you into choices that won’t work with your life. To that end, your bankruptcy attorney should truly listen to your needs, and be flexible enough to think of alternative solutions.
In our experience, much of this comes down to understanding the difference between a high-volume law firm and a boutique law firm. Lawyers at smaller boutique firms, like Badgley Law Group, are much more likely to provide you with personalized service that will make you feel valued and secure. If you become involved with a firm that treats you like just one more client in an assembly line, then we urge you to move on. Switching law firms is simpler than you might think!
We invite you to experience our caring and communicative Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy legal services from Central Florida lawyer Jeff Badgley. Call (407) 781-0420 today for a free consultation with Jeff.