How to Choose a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for personal bankruptcy can help you get rid of credit card debt. In most personal bankruptcy filings, and unsecured debt like credit card debt is discharged by a judge. You can also put a stop to all collection efforts by creditors.

To file for personal bankruptcy, first, you need a good lawyer. Technically, you can file on your own. But you will have to handle all the paperwork, which can be substantial in bankruptcy cases, be aware of existing law, and know how to handle yourself according to the rules of the courtroom. All this is, indeed, difficult for many. Therefore, follow the below steps for hiring a bankruptcy lawyer you can rely on.

Hire a Local Lawyer

You must hire a lawyer from your state to file for bankruptcy in the state. It’s recommended to hire a lawyer from the local area you live in. Don’t bother going out of your way to hire a hotshot lawyer in your state. The personal bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale local area will know the local bankruptcy court well too. You can seek recommendations from friends, colleagues or legal aid centers for a reputable lawyer. Check their rates before asking them to take on your case. In case of bankruptcy, you get the lawyer that you pay for.

Make Sure the Lawyer is Forthcoming with Rate

Bankruptcy attorneys may offer a flat rate for representing you. It must be clear what this flat rate gets you. Your lawyer may handle all the paperwork for this fee, but the fee may not cover the lawyer representing you in a case where a creditor may sue you. You should ask what services entail the fee. A good bankruptcy lawyer will be forthcoming about the charges and what you get in return.

Communication should be Comfortable

You may not benefit from even the state’s best lawyer if your relationship with the lawyer is not comfortable in a professional sense. There should be a clear line of communication between the two parties. Personal bankruptcy can be a very sensitive matter. So you should be fine with disclosing the most private financial matters to this stranger. The lawyer should be quite forthcoming as well. If you are truly comfortable with your lawyer, your bankruptcy proceedings should move forward as planned.

Avoid the Cheapest Lawyers

Don’t fret too much about the price. Bankruptcy court and state laws often limit how much an attorney can charge from people filing for bankruptcy. Lawyers who handle these cases on a regular basis have a general estimate for fees anyway. However, be aware of lawyers who charge less than what’s normal for bankruptcy cases in your area. It could be a red flag that the attorney is either inexperienced or is not going to represent you with the best interests at heart.

Also, hire an attorney that routinely takes on bankruptcy cases. Don’t judge expertise by the seniority of the lawyer. Rather, check out how many bankruptcy filing the lawyer handles. If the lawyer is very familiar with handling bankruptcy cases, then that’s a good indicator that the lawyer can represent your case well in court.


Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of Current on Currency. She loves all things personal finance, which is why you'll find her work all over the PF blogosphere.