How To Find and Choose A Good Bankruptcy Lawyer Near You
Looking For A Cheap Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me - That's The Most Common Internet Search - But Is It What You Really Want?
That's it, you’re finally at the point of acceptance. You’re tired of struggling to pay your creditors and there are no more forebearances or extensions to be had - you're ready to consider filing bankruptcy and you think all you need is a cheap bankruptcy attorney near you. There's a difference, however, between a cheap bankruptcy attorney and an affordable bankruptcy attorney. As the saying goes: "lo barato sale caro" - or in other words: "cheap" often ends up being expensive. You are usually better off with an a good, experienced and affordable bankruptcy attorney who works with you on the legal fees.
Nevertheless, it’s finally time to talk to a Ft Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyer, but which one? There’s no shortage of bankruptcy lawyers in Fort Lauderdale or Pembroke Pines. You see some of them advertise on TV, radio - others advertise on billboards and they are all over the internet. They’re all lawyers so any of them should be fine – but are they? Although you’re ready to schedule a bankruptcy appointment – you’re not ready to ask friends for a referral. So you asked your good friend "google" to find a cheap bankruptcy attorney near you and that should be just fine.
You’re already on the right track by knowing that you need a bankruptcy lawyer to help you through the process. Bankruptcy law is more than just filling out forms. Bankruptcy law is complicated and the goal is to eliminate your debts and keep your assets. With the right bankruptcy lawyer, you can do both. Many Do-It-Yourself bankruptcy filers end up in a worse situation than they were before by trying to save attorney fees. Any bankruptcy attorney representing clients in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines (or anywhere in Broward County) can tell you stories about people losing their possessions that could have saved them with proper legal representation.
Filing for bankruptcy is a serious step and choosing the right bankruptcy attorney can be all the difference between a smooth, relieving experience or having a bankruptcy nightmare where the unexpected happens and you end up in litigation with a trustee that is trying to take your assets. So how do you choose the right , yet affordable, bankruptcy attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area? Here's how to find, and then choose, the best bankruptcy attorney for you.Where Do I Start In Choosing a Ft Lauderdale Bankruptcy Lawyer?
First you have to find some local Fort Lauderdale, Weston or Hollywood bankruptcy layers. Check their Florida Bar disciplinary history. A bankruptcy attorney that has been disciplined in the past can still be considered but I would move them towards the end of the list. The most popular google search for a bankruptcy attorney is none other than “bankruptcy attorney near me.” But, what if the bankruptcy attorney near you is not that good? For something as important as a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy, I would not limit my choices by how far they are from my home. If you don’t want to travel far, then look for an attorney that has embraced technology and you are able to upload your documents online and communicate by text and client portals. You will probably only have to go to their office twice throughout the entire process – for your initial bankruptcy consultation and to sign the documents.
If you’re not shy about asking around, the old-fashioned methods are still useful. Ask friends, relatives or neighbors. If they give you a name, check the bankruptcy lawyer out on the internet. Look at their website and see if they offer technological ways to provide your documents and communicate with them. Do they have reviews? The state and local bar associations are also good resources to find bankruptcy attorneys.You Are Better Off If You Hire an Attorney That Specializes In Bankruptcy
During the last financial crisis, everyone became bankruptcy attorneys! Family lawyers, real estate lawyers, probate lawyers, - you name it – they were all bankruptcy attorneys overnight. The results were predictable. Many of their clients found out the hard way that bankruptcy is a specialty and there are many landmines that their attorneys were simply unaware of. When you hire an attorney that does not regularly practice bankruptcy, you will be their learning curve and the one who loses assets is you.
First recommendation then it to hire a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy. Your list of finalists should only have lawyers that only practice bankruptcy and nothing else. These lawyers stay on top of new laws, cases, and are constantly reading the latest judicial opinions that may affect your case. They know the local practices of the trustees, the judges and the Clerk of Court. Interpretations of the bankruptcy code are constant and you want a lawyer that is on top of them. Only lawyers that are bankruptcy specialists can be counted on to know the latest legal rulings and how those rulings apply to each client’s situation.
There are two bankruptcy law associations: National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACBA) and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). If an attorney is a member of one or both of these organizations, it’s a good sign that they stay current in the latest rulings and are serious about continuous learning in the area of bankruptcy.
Finally, investigate if the bankruptcy lawyer has a history of complaints or ethical violations. The Florida Bar’s web page will list any complaints that resulted in disciplinary action on each attorney’s profile.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential attorneys, it’s time for interviews. Schedule at least two or three to see if you are both a good fit for each other and for comparison purposes.What Should You Ask a Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Lawyer?
When you have your initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer, you want to gauge whether the attorney is able to handle your unique situation with competence and if they actually care about solving your problem. But how do you do that? What questions do you ask the bankruptcy attorney? Here are some questions that should help you decide.
- First impressions count. Is the staff friendly? Are they polite and responsive to your arrival? The staff is a good indicator of the lawyer’s customer philosophy and a happy staff means that they have a good working environment.
- Once you’re in with the lawyer, are they listening to your situation and asking questions? Do they seem rushed? Are they patient with your questions? Does the Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney believe that bankruptcy is the right solution for you, and if so, which chapter do they recommend: Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Do they explain why they recommend that particular chapter?
- Ask about their bankruptcy experience. How many bankruptcies have they done? What type? On average, how often do their cases have unexpected issues that are not because the client didn’t disclose something? (You’re trying to ascertain if they pay attention to the details of each case and whether they are involved in the case preparation or if they never look at your case again until the 341 meeting).
- How large is the lawyer’s law firm? Is it a large firm with many lawyers or a boutique firm with one or two lawyers. Larger firms have more resources but smaller firms are more personal. Which is more important to you? Do you want to be part of a firm where everyone knows who you are and is attentive or where you may speak with someone new every time you call?
- How quickly do they return calls, emails or texts? Can you text them? Do they charge for calls with the attorney?
- How hands-on will the attorney be after the initial consultation? Did you meet with an attorney for the initial consultation or a paralegal? Will the bankruptcy lawyer that you met with be with you at the 341 meeting?
- Do you get a sense that the bankruptcy attorney has a passion for what they do or is it just a job?
- Did the lawyer listen to what you had to say? Did they strike you as competent and trustworthy?
- Does the attorney want all of the attorney fees and costs up front before they file or will they work with you on a payment plan? Do they offer payment plans on the attorney fees after they file the case or will they only file the case after they have been paid bankruptcy attorney fees in full?
You’re looking for someone who is passionate about helping people get out of debt and back on their feet. You also want an office staff that is engaged in their work and appear happy with what they do.How To Pay For A Bankruptcy Lawyer in Broward County
Finally, what do Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorneys charge in bankruptcy legal fees? Most bankruptcy cases have two expenses: fixed costs such as the court’s filing fee, credit reports, mailing, etc and the attorney fees. One last caveat on attorney fees: Be skeptical on attorneys that charge very little for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some Broward bankruptcy lawyers will quote a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for $800 to $1200 and neglect to tell you that it doesn’t cover everything that may come up in your case. Or they don’t tell you that they never touch your paperwork – their staff does all the work and they just show up with you at the 341 meeting. You can always tell who those attorneys are. The trustee will ask them questions at the 341 meeting and they are reading the file for the first time. Hint: If a trustee is asking an attorney questions at a 341 meeting, your case may not be going so well. Usually, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee will not have any reason to ask the attorney any questions. Cheaper is not always better and if a bankruptcy attorney offers easy payment plans before or after they file your case, make your decision on value, competence and a smooth experience instead of money. You’ll be glad you did.
Still Looking For A Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney Near You?
The Bankruptcy Law Firm of Orfelia Mayor is a debt relief agency in Broward County that loves what they do! We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code. Make our day by letting us help you stop wage garnishment, stop foreclosure sales, stop car repos and just get you back into loving life! Your creditors have lawyers on their side – shouldn’t you have a lawyer too?
Contact us today for a no-charge, no-obligation bankruptcy consultation throughout Broward and Palm Beach County. We happily service clients in: Broward County including Oakland Park, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Miramar, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Weston, North Lauderdale, Coconut Creek, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston. In Palm Beach, we serve clients in Boca Raton, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Lantana, Boynton Beach, and all cities in Palm Beach County.
Ask About Our Affordable Payment Plans and Zero-Money-Down Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Just a quick note about the main thing on everyone’s minds when they are thinking about bankruptcy. You’re looking for a cheap bankruptcy attorney near you but you should be looking for an experienced and affordable bankruptcy attorney near you instead. We make bankruptcy affordable in Broward County.
How Zero Money Down Bankruptcy Works For You
While the majority of our clients prefer to make regular payments towards a bankruptcy before they file so they can get discounted attorney fees, some clients need to file right away to stop a wage garnishment, car repo or foreclosure sale. Those clients prefer to take advantage of our $0-down-payment bankruptcy option.
We can tell you more about it during your free bankruptcy consultation but to sum it up briefly, it works like this: Once you sign a retainer agreement, you only pay the costs of filing your case (approximately $485) and all of your attorney fees are paid after we file your case. This option does not get a discount on attorney fees but it does allow you to file an emergency bankruptcy petition so we can stop whatever debt collector that is threatening to take your property or garnish your paycheck. Of course, you can also take advantage of our zero-down-bankruptcy option if you do not have a bankruptcy emergency. It’s up to you. I do promise that we have a payment option that fits your budget and your situation. Make an appointment at our Cooper City bankruptcy office today! No matter where you live in Broward County, we are a bankruptcy attorney near you!