Did you know that people are more likely to interact with the bankruptcy courts than they are any other legal process? The only possible exception may be the family court. Hundreds of thousands of Americans file consumer bankruptcy each year. Most choose to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. When you work with an attorney, they can guide you through the process, so you get the maximum bankruptcy protections possible and avoid common mistakes. If you aren’t sure when you should talk to a lawyer, it’s probably time.
When Should You Consult a Bankruptcy Attorney?
Don’t put off talking to a bankruptcy attorney. There are rarely consequences associated with filing too early, but waiting too long to file bankruptcy can cause problems. Don’t wait until you’re panicking to avoid wage garnishment that may take effect within the next 24 hours or until you’re being served court paperwork from creditors filing suit against you in court. There’s no reason to put yourself through the undue stress of a constant uphill battle when the debt is so overwhelming that your efforts aren’t making a dent.
If you aren’t sure where to start or how to choose a lawyer, you can consider these tips.
Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer Who:
- Listens and Understands – Filing bankruptcy often occurs during times of high stress or emotional turmoil. Look for an attorney who doesn’t just have the proper credentials and legal experience, but one who understands your situation and your goals. Look for an attorney who displays empathy and a willingness to take the time to listen and ask the necessary (sometimes tricky) questions. You need to be very comfortable with your bankruptcy attorney so you can communicate freely. If you can have an open line of communication, you’ll avoid a lot of potential problems later on in the bankruptcy process.
- Practices in Your Area – Working with an attorney that regularly practices in your geographic area is essential. Lawyers who do not regularly practice in your geographic area may not be familiar with the details of the local bankruptcy court. Look for someone who consistently files cases each month in your court’s jurisdiction.
- Specializes in Bankruptcy – Look for a bankruptcy attorney who is also a Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist. Only specialists can be depended on to know the latest rulings from the circuit courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and how the decisions apply or don’t apply to their clients’ cases.
When sitting down with a bankruptcy attorney for an initial consultation, asking them the following questions will leave you with a good overview.
Do you specialize in bankruptcy? How many bankruptcy cases do you file each year? Who’s going to be handling my case? What is your fee structure? What’s included in your fee?
If you are in an impossible financial situation and you aren’t sure where to turn, don’t give up. Turn to the experienced Tennessee and Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at Kenneth C. Rannick P.C. We help good people through bad times every day, and we can help you, too.