Bankruptcy Attorneys – Tips For Locating Personal Or Business Bankruptcy Lawyers

Retaining the services of bankruptcy attorneys is not required by law. However, filing bankruptcy is no easy feat and generally requires some level of legal assistance. Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in helping individuals and businesses obtain debt relief through the various bankruptcy chapters.

Most bankruptcy attorneys specialize in either personal or corporate bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy chapters include 7 and 13. Chapters 9 and 11 are generally reserved for corporations and partnerships; however, individuals with extensive debts can file Chapter 11. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is reserved for farmers. 

It is a good idea to consult with at least three bankruptcy attorneys before making a final decision. Keep in mind you will be spending a considerable amount of time with your lawyer and their staff.  

Oftentimes, paralegals are assigned to your case and will conduct the majority of work. This helps keep legal fees affordable since paralegals are compensated at a lower hourly rate than attorneys. Therefore, request the presence of the paralegal and other staff members at your initial meeting.  

One of the best sources for locating bankruptcy attorneys is other lawyers. The majority of attorneys network with colleagues and are familiar with their skills and areas of expertise. If you retain the services of an attorney for other legal matters, ask for a referral.  

If you have friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers who have filed bankruptcy, ask them for a referral. This can be a touchy subject, so it is best to ask the person in private. It’s not a good idea to yell across cubicles to ask Sally how she liked her bankruptcy lawyer. It’s also not a good idea to ask someone for a referral unless they have personally told you they filed bankruptcy.  

If you prefer to seek out bankruptcy attorneys on your own, visit the American Bar Association website at www.abanet.org. ABA provides a list of nationwide bankruptcy lawyers. Although most ABA chapters do not offer referrals, they can provide a list of names and contact information.  

Once you have compiled a list of bankruptcy attorneys, contact each to arrange an initial consultation. Be certain to ask if the law firm provides complimentary consultations or if there will be a fee. Additionally, ask what documents they will require and request three to four customer referrals.  

Most bankruptcy attorneys will require financial information including income, expenses, current tax return, real estate and financial portfolios, and a list of assets such as automobiles, jewelry and household furnishings.  

By reviewing your finances, lawyers can advise which bankruptcy chapter you are qualified to file. Chapter 7 requires liquidation of assets to repay creditors, while Chapter 13 requires repayment of debts over a specified period of time.  

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) enacted in 2005, has made filing bankruptcy exceptionally challenging. One provision requires debtors to repay a portion of their debts whenever possible. Every person who files for bankruptcy protection must undergo the ‘means’ test to determine how much of their debts they will be required to pay.  

Additionally, BAPCPA requires debtors to undergo credit counseling through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. A reputable attorney will explain the rules of BAPCPA, the pros and cons of each bankruptcy chapter and advise you of all options available.  

Last, but not least, it is best to work with bankruptcy attorneys who put you at ease and thoroughly answer your questions. Undergoing the bankruptcy process can be quite stressful. The last thing you want to do is work with an attorney who is harsh, impatient or makes you uncomfortable.

Hiring an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Choosing the right attorney to represent you in a lawsuit can be stressful, but is also very important. This one decision will impact every step of your litigation as your attorney is the lynch pin you will be counting on for information, professional advice and timely action. Here are a few tips that will be useful to you in choosing the right attorney for your personal injury lawsuit.

1. Start your search by asking friends and family for referrals, not by picking an attorney randomly from a TV or phone book ad.

Finding a lawyer in the phone book or choosing a lawyer based on a TV ad is bad decision. A flashy ad or TV commercial does not necessarily translate into the best attorney to meet your needs. Although all lawyers are in the phone book, you don’t want to rely on which ad pops out at you the most. There are many qualified lawyers who don’t have to buy the biggest ad to get business. What counts is the attorney, not the ad. If you are not impressed with the person who is representing you, a judge is not going to be either.

Asking family, friends, and trusted acquaintances for recommendations is much more likely to be beneficial; most people have worked with attorneys at some point or know someone who has. Their input is a great way to start or narrow your search for a personal injury attorney.

2. Utilize the Internet to learn more about the lawyers that have been recommended to you or to find other qualified attorneys in your area.

Using the Internet to do research is a much better way to find a lawyer that will be a good fit for you. The internet can be invaluable when looking for a lawyer. It can not only help you choose a lawyer, but understand what it is that lawyer can do for you.

Once you’ve received recommendations you can do some research on the recommended attorneys via a search for their web site and a review of the information you find there. An attorney’s site should provide information on the areas of law they specialize in and the depth of their experience.

3. Make sure the attorney you choose for your case specializes in personal injury lawsuits.

Always be sure when picking a lawyer that the one you choose is the right kind of lawyer for you. For example, if you need a lawyer for a personal injury or wrongful death case do not hire an estate or criminal law attorney. Making sure that the lawyer you choose practices the kind of law that you need is the best way to ensure that you’ll a happy with your choice.

4. Meet your attorney and look into their background before signing an agreement to have them represent you.

Arranging a brief meeting with your potential attorney is a good way to figure out if they are the right one for you. Most attorneys will agree to a first consultation free of charge. This is a great opportunity to ask the questions that you want answered. You can also request a list of previous clients as referrals and ask the attorney about cases like yours that they have worked on in the past, as well as the outcomes of those cases.

Check on the attorney’s background. Their education and work experience is important, and you may want to see how they manage their practice. These are all factors that can shed light on how well a certain attorney will be able to help you.

5. Be involved in the strategy for your case!

Be certain that you have your lawyer detail the strategy he or she intends to follow for your case. What benchmarks are there likely to be along the way? For example, there are a number of steps you need to follow within the legal process. Your attorney should clearly explain what you can expect before, during, and after each step of the process. Once you know exactly what your lawyer’s plans are and then hold them to their own schedule.

Asking your potential attorney questions is important. Some of the following are examples of things you should know about your attorney. Have they ever handled a case similar to yours? If so how many cases have they won that are similar to your own? What are the alternative ways or resolving the matter? How long will it take to resolve?

Finding a lawyer can be a stressful and difficult but following these simple steps can help to take away some of the doubt that can come with the process. The person you choose to represent you should have your complete confidence. The process of gaining all the facts about your potential representation will also work to put your own mind at ease so that you can feel confident that you are in good hands.

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney After an Auto Accident

When deciding which personal injury attorney to work with after an accident, do not take the decision lightly. Not only could the decision mean thousands of dollars more or less in your bank account upon settlement, it could also mean the difference between sleepless nights wondering “did I screw up this decision” to sleeping like a baby knowing you are in good hands.

Here is what to look for when making your decision of who to work with as a personal injury attorney.

1. Do not look for the biggest billboard you can find and make your decision based off of that criteria. This attorney may not be the one best suited for you, and also may be too busy to handle your case “hands on” enough. You may be pushed off completely on to a junior associate who does not have the experience or free mindedness to do what is right for you. He or she may have scripted mandates from the firm telling what to do, and that script may not be in your best interest.

2. Ask for referrals from friends or family who have had claims. What better way to find out about actual experiences and outcomes?

3. What is the track record of your attorney at recovering damages? You want a proven track record and an attorney who is not afraid of standing up for you enough to take your case to court if necessary. Ask questions about results and court cases.

4. Professional organizations. Which ones does the prospective attorney belong to?

5. Does the attorney charge a fee upfront for the case? Some do, some don’t. Having the attorney work on contingency will effectively give him or her “skin in the game” and make the outcome that much more important.

6. How much experience does the attorney have in personal injury and what percentage of his or her practice does it compromise? If it’s a hobby in the scope of the practice, keep looking.

7. Attorney’s philosophy. If the philosophy appears to be sign up as many as absolutely possible and then push off on the junior associate, keep looking. If the philosophy is to work closely with you and then the law firm takes a “hit” at the end of the case to get you a better settlement, then finish the meeting!

8. Avoid firms employing contract runners. You should sit face to face with the lawyer you are hiring to discuss your case and sign the contract for representation. This could be the most important meeting you will have with your attorney. Some higher volume firms utilize contract runners, and may refer to them as “investigators”. You should not agree to a contract runner and insist on meeting with your lawyer prior to hiring. Contract runners are usually not lawyers, and therefore not allowed to answer any legal questions you may have about the contract or the representation.

9. Ask the attorney if he or she will reduce their fees.

A personal injury attorney may make more money at the end of the case than the client. Doesn’t sound fair does it? This happens when the attorney takes his full one third fee, and then medical bills take up the rest of the settlement. The client may not even break even and have money still owed on medical bills! You should ask if they will cut their fee at the end of the case so that this will not happen. If the lawyer is unwilling to do this, consider hiring a law firm that will.

10. Ask if your attorney will handle your property damage claim for free.

If your case includes a property damage claim (vehicle) ask your attorney if they will handle this for free, assist with getting a rental vehicle, and take care of dealing with the insurance company that is paying for the issues with your vehicle.

How to Handle an Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

It never hurts to be prepared for any situation, so here is some advice on how to handle the initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.

1. Research the attorney. First, if you have not already done so, do a little internet research about the attorney. Take a look at the attorney’s website. See if anyone has provide any review of the attorney. This type of information will give you some insight into the attorney and their qualifications prior to the consultation.

2. Call the attorney’s office and speak to an intake paralegal. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a hold of the attorney on the first telephone call. Attorney calendars usually stay full and the attorney may or may not even be in the office. Nevertheless, ask to meet with the attorney in person for a short consultation. Also ask what information you should bring to the meeting.

3. Get your ducks in a row. Before the meeting, get together documentation which may be relevant to your case. These items will likely include your auto insurance policy, photographs, police reports, and any other relevant evidence you may have which is relevant to your case.

4. Tell the attorney everything. At the consultation, tell the attorney everything. Usually the best way is to quickly tell the attorney your story and then allow the attorney to ask you questions to help the attorney better understand what they consider to be the important aspects of your claim.

5. Be forthcoming a truthful. At the consultation, be fully forthcoming and truthful about the facts of your case. You should not be afraid of this. If there is an ugly part of your case which you believe may be unfavorable, failing to tell you attorney about it will serve you no benefit. Often, if an attorney finds out something negative about their client or their client’s case early in the representation, the attorney is able to effectively minimize the impact of that negative. However, if you allow your attorney to be blindsided by the opposing party late in you case, your attorney may not be able to effectively reduce the impact of the negative. Furthermore, if you are caught in a lie, it will only hurt your case and if the lie is big enough you may well lose your case entirely.

6. Ask your attorney questions. Once your have completed the foregoing items, ask your attorney all the questions you want to know about them and your case.

Follow these simple steps, and you will be prepared and able to effectively handle an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Bankruptcy Attorney – Tips For Choosing the Best One

Your bankruptcy attorney plays the most important role in handling your bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy laws are so complex that it is not possible for you to understand all the ins and outs associated with the same. What is more, the inclusion of the new bankruptcy laws has made it much more complex and complicated. The bankruptcy attorney is a specialized person, who knows how to use the various sections of the bankruptcy laws, to defend the bankruptcy claim for you. Therefore, if you are thinking about handling your bankruptcy case yourself, you must think twice. However, you should also note that not every bankruptcy attorney is the right one for your specific bankruptcy case. You are supposed to be very careful while choosing the one. Several factors seek your careful consideration in this regard. The more efficient your bankruptcy attorney is, the more are the chances that you will be able to defend your bankruptcy claims successfully.

License To Handle Bankruptcy Cases In A Specific State

Perhaps, the first thing that you need to look into, before hiring a bankruptcy attorney is to check, whether he or she is licensed to handle bankruptcy cases in your state. Since the bankruptcy laws differentiate widely from one state to another, it is important for you to make sure that the bankruptcy attorney you have chosen is thoroughly aware of the specific bankruptcy laws that are applicable in your state.

Are You Comfortable With The Bankruptcy Attorney?

The next big thing that you need to do is to make sure that you have good comfort level with the bankruptcy attorney you have chosen. It is very important because filing bankruptcy is a very crucial thing, and you want things to be done thoroughly. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will take all your worries and make things much easier for you. The best way to determine if the bankruptcy attorney is the right one for you is to interview them. Ask as many questions as you want to. Ask about their qualifications and experience. Ask if they have handled your type of bankruptcy cases earlier as well. If yes, what is the success rate?

Bankruptcy Attorney Fee

Of course, budget is one of the most important elements in this regard and you cannot ignore this. Therefore, make sure that the first of the few things that you inquire about is regarding the fee they will charge. Make sure that you are capable enough to pay the fee. Usually, the bankruptcy attorney charges a substantial fee.