There is not one way to hire a Bankruptcy Attorney. There are a number of factors to consider including experience, temperament, style, location and hours, and attorney fees.
Even though there is no one formula, we believe there are a few issues that should be considered.
Bankruptcy experience comes in many forms. Some attorneys who work for larger firms only handled one aspect of a case. This means that they may have filed a large number of cases but do not have the experience that would be expected with the number of bankruptcy filings.
Other attorneys who have not filed many cases, lack the experience to even understand the bankruptcy process. It is important to ask about the type of bankruptcy experience.
If you meet with a “salesman” instead of office staff this is usually a sign that your case will not be handled by one person.
Additionally, there are different aspects to bankruptcy. The main reason you come to the bankruptcy court is to receive a discharge.
With that being said, there can be issues where you must negotiate on your house or car loan. Additionally, you can be sued by creditors. If you think this type of issue may arise, it is important to ask how much experience they have with adversary proceedings in bankruptcy.
In our Mesa Bankruptcy office, there is one attorney. James Portman Webster has essentially handled all of his cases from beginning to end since 2007. As an office, we handled multiple issues including: adversary proceedings, redemption of vehicles, reaffirmation agreements, stipulations, means test, among other legal issues.
I attend all hearings unless I am required to be in two hearings at the same time and there can be no accommodations made. This situation rarely arise.
An attorney’s temperament and style are important. You are going through this process once and the attorneys you choose will dictate to a large degree your experience. In picking an attorney, make sure your personalities fit together in a desirable way.
Our office focuses on both the legal and personal affects of bankruptcy. We will discuss both aspects of a bankruptcy filing and ways to address both the intended and unintended consequences.
The location of the attorney’s office and hours will directly affect your experience.
In our office, we are located right off the U.S. 60 and the 101 Loop on Dobson Road. Clients coming from Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Mesa find this to be a close and convenient location. We can accomodate weekend appointments upon request. Additionally, a lot of work can be done by fax and email to reduce the number of trips to the office.
Attorney fees can be one of the largest issues in determining which attorneys or lawyers to hire. Attorney fees should be based on a number of issues like complexity of case, types of property, potential issues of bankruptcy adversary proceedings, pre-bankruptcy planning, and other factors.
Any attorney who quotes a flat price for all cases is a red flag. This means that no matter how much or little work must be done, the attorney charges the same price. If I had a very complex bankruptcy, this would concern me because I would wonder if all of the issues would be properly addressed. If I had very few issues, I would also be concerned about being over charged for the amount of work done.
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