Learn to spot problems at the bankruptcy consultation. Here are five more things to watch out for that will make you call another lawyer. It is all about the value you receive. There are spectacular bankruptcy lawyers out here, and others who should not even be allowed into the courthouse. Unfortunately, it is up to you to sort the best from the worst. Here are five more reasons, which may convince you to run screaming from a bad experience:
The lawyer offers to leave something out of the bankruptcy petition
Filing bankruptcy is serious business. The system will provide honest debtors relief from their bills and other obligations. Notice I say honest. When you sign the bankruptcy petition you are doing it under oath that the information contained in it is correct and truthful. Intentionally leaving something out is not only dishonest, but it is a crime. An attorney who suggests leaving something out of the bankruptcy petition simply because it might be bad for you is someone that you should never consider hiring. If this happens during your consultation, leave, and leave quickly. Difficult situations only require planning, knowledge, and preparation.
The bankruptcy attorney has many office locations
A couple of “local” Lorain County bankruptcy attorneys do not practice in Lorain County at all. They have one main office usually located in Akron, or Cleveland. They have a number of satellite offices which only exist for the purpose of meeting clients in depressed communities. Modern bankruptcy is all about paperwork. It takes a lot of work and planning to keep track of your documents. That is why my office is paperless. Everything you bring me is scanned and returned to you as soon as possible. My goal is to preserve your papers so we have them when they are needed. What about the attorney with multiple offices? What does he do when he misplaces something? He might have 4 to 6 offices with no regular staff. Will he ever find your papers? This is not so much a reason to run as it is to not schedule a consultation in the first place.
Mountains of paper on the desk
The only thing worse than attorney losing one of your documents when he has multiple office locations is when you walk into the office to see an attorney sitting amid stacks of papers. How can he possibly know what papers are where? Even worse, while you are sitting there going over your case with him someone else’s papers are right there for you to see. Do you want the next person coming into his office to see your papers?
No visible technology
To be a successful bankruptcy attorney it is necessary to stand on the cutting edge of technology. The best bankruptcy attorneys normally have computers, scanners, high-powered laptops, and smart phones readily available for use during the consultation. At a minimum during an interview I will connect to the Internet to determine real estate values, and motor vehicle values. In the office is easy since I just use my desktop computer. If I am meeting you out of the office I will use my laptop with an Internet connection through my smart phone when necessary. If you walk into an office of a bankruptcy attorney and you do not see any of these items you may be in for a rough and rocky ride.
The lawyer hands you a list of court approved credit counseling agencies and tells you to do the course and bring him a certificate.
This is clearly the mark of a very inexperienced bankruptcy attorney. The better way, and the one followed by Balena Law Firm is to provide you with a card for the pre-petition credit counseling , which contains my attorney ID code. You take the course, you enter the code, and a completion certificate is e-mailed to both you and my office. This procedure takes the hassle out of process. By using my attorney ID code you will not need to pay for the class, as you have already done so when you paid for the bankruptcy. You use the same credit counseling agency and attorney ID code for the financial management course.
Bankruptcy can be a very important step for you to take. It is equally important that you have the right attorney for the job. You need someone who is honest, and knows bankruptcy law and procedure. You have to base your hiring decision on your experience. Be observant. I have presented you five more bankruptcy consultation problems that should make you want to call other lawyer.
Have you seen something that made you feel uneasy at a bankruptcy consultation? If so, why not share your experience with a comment?