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If you’re considering filing bankruptcy to get your debts under control or relieved so you can get a fresh start, you need to think carefully before choosing an attorney. Attorney selection can mean the difference between you getting a raw deal on your bankruptcy or the best possible deal on your bankruptcy. While the laws are standardized, not all results will be the same and choice of attorney is the prime factor in a better or worse outcome for you.
Here’s what to consider:
#1 Look for an Attorney That Specializes in Bankruptcy
Sure any lawyer can help you file your bankruptcy but you don’t want someone who deals mostly with personal injury law or criminal law. If you’re like me, you may have a cousin who has their own shingle and practices something like real estate law but who will handle other legal matters for family members. While it’s nice to get the family discount, you don’t want to get a bad deal in bankruptcy because you chose an attorney whose expertise is not in the area of law you need!
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#2 Look for an Attorney That Has Years of Experience in Bankruptcy
You not only want a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy, but you also want someone who has been in practice for years. I get that everyone new to a job needs the opportunity to gain experience but you don’t want a green attorney fresh out of school practicing on you. Instead, you want a lawyer who handles hundreds of cases each year and has been in practice for at least a decade – dedicated solely to bankruptcy cases.
#3 Look for an Attorney Local to You
You shouldn’t have to see your bankruptcy attorney too often, but if you do need (or want) to talk to them face to face you want them conveniently close by so you’re not trekking across the state for an appointment. In addition to having offices relatively close to you, I recommend you look for an attorney that has lived in North Carolina for years – preferably decades – so they are deeply immersed in the bankruptcy exemptions and laws that apply specifically to your state!
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#4 Look for an Attorney at a Mid-Sized Law Firm
You want to look for a medium sized law firm because if you opt for a mega firm, you will likely be foisted off on a paralegal or brand new staffer and you may never see the same person twice. This is assembly line law and not what you want. At a very small firm, they may not have the bandwidth to give your case the attention it demands. Instead, I recommend you look for a mid-sized firm with 7-12 attorneys so that there is enough support to handle your case, but is small enough so you can have continuity in who you speak to at appointments and who will be there in court with you.
#5 Look for an Attorney Who Is Highly Rated
Any lawyer will tell you they are good, but look to review sites to read client reviews to see what people in a situation just like yours really think about their experience with the attorney you’re considering. I recommend you look for an attorney with “very good” or higher ratings. Check sites like Avvo or Martindale and look at customer reviews. You may also want to call in and talk to the offices and even schedule a free consultation to see how you feel in the office, how you are treated and whether or not you are made to feel comfortable as you discuss the very personal issue of debt and finances.
If you are looking for a reputable North Carolina bankruptcy attorney with expertise, years of experience and loads of satisfied clients, contact the law offices of John T Orcutt today for a free consulation on your debt dilemma!