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     One of the most important decisions before you start to file, is choosing a good attorney. During these stressful times a good bankruptcy attorney would be extremely helpful. Whether you plan to file personal or business (chapters 7, 11, 12 or 13), an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law would be an added asset to you and your case.

     With a multitude of options available for bankruptcy, reorganization and debt adjustment, a safe and wise decision would be a licensed, experienced, attorney at law, trained in the bankruptcy field. The best ingredients for a successful case are having an attorney who is well-trained and knowledgeable in the client's type of matter, with whom the client feels comfortable entrusting the client's financial well-being.

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How to Find a Good Attorney

     Finding a good attorney can be difficult and time consuming, however, in the long run, can be a well rewarding endeavor. Where to look and what to look for is your first start. Listed below are some helpful pointers that will assist you in your search.

  • Referrals from Trusted Friend or Advisor - One of the best ways in finding a good attorney is through referrals. Ask your trusted friends and business associates if they heard of or dealt with an attorney skilled in bankruptcy. A good source may also be your accountant or bookkeeper. Accountants are especially knowledgeable and have dealings with bankruptcy attorneys from other clients. They can make some good recommendations because of their dealings with finance. Another good source could be your banker.
  • Reputation in the Community - One of the ways a bankruptcy attorney gets to be known, is in the community that he/she works in. He or she may be on the softball team, PTA or church group. In fact, the attorney may do pro bono work in the community and has contact with many types of organizations and individuals. Knowing an attorney's reputation in community can be one step in finding a good attorney. Ask those in the community that know him if they know of anyone that was represented by this attorney.
  • Length of Practice in the Bankruptcy Field - As a general rule of thumb in any industry, whether in accounting, auto repair or home builder, the more a professional spends in their particular field, the more experienced and wisdom they have when performing their work. A bankruptcy attorney is in the same category. The longer they are in this field, the more likely that they will be more proficient in their work. With the constant change of the federal and bankruptcy law by state, it is important that attorneys keep up-to-date of the new changes in the law. They say practice makes perfect and in the field of bankruptcy the longer a person is in this field, the more likely that they will have the knowledge and experience in handling your case.
  • Background Check from the State Bar - Another factor to investigate is finding out whether the attorney is in good standing with the state bar of your state. Check and see if any discipline has been assessed against the attorney. If so, what are they and how long ago was the disciplinary action. Perform an Internet search of the state bar association of your local state and see if he or she is in good standing.
  • Experience in the District Where the Bankruptcy Case Will Be Filed - Is the attorney familiar and knowledgeable of the bankruptcy trustees and judges in his district? Do the trustees and judges know who the attorney is when he is representing your case? This is crucial in complex cases and in your case. It is also imperative that the attorney who represents you, know what they are doing, when they are before the judge and trustee.
  • Meet and Interview the Attorney - Personally meet and interview the attorney who will be handling your case, and ask questions about his experience in cases like yours. See if a rapport is established with the attorney, and if the attorney will be a good fit for the satisfaction of your goals as a client.

     In conclusion, bankruptcy is a complex, constantly-evolving field which requires that professionals keep on top of all new developments. Best solution to a client's debt needs is to find a professional you can trust and is competent enough to handle your case in a professional manner. Finding a good attorney is one of the important keys in finding a solution to your financial situation.

Written by Henry Rendler


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