Which lawyer should I go to? This is an extremely important question. Filing bankruptcy will have a significant impact on your life for years to come.....but bankruptcy law is very complex, with many twists and turns, and traps for the unwary. If you need to file bankruptcy...choosing the right lawyer is critical.
In many cases, the simple truth is that the more experienced attorney will do a better job, which means getting you the most benefit from filing and avoiding the mistakes that someone less experienced is bound to make.
Don't take chances. Here are some of the questions to ask in order to find the best available bankruptcy lawyer:
- Do you practice bankruptcy law full-time? You want a full-time lawyer, who spends all his time getting better at representing people in bankruptcy. You want a lawyer who knows the Bankruptcy Code and the local rules....inside and out, who has a good, established working relationship with the local Trustee and knows his or her preferences, who has a good reputation before the local Bankruptcy Judge, who knows which way the local Bankruptcy Judge tends to lean on certain key issues, and who enjoys the respect of the local creditor lawyers. What you don't want is the lawyer jack-of-all-trades....who does a little of everything...including bankruptcy. Think about it. He or she may be great at handling a real estate closing, drafting a will and taking care of a speeding ticket...but the fact is....if a lawyer does anything other than bankruptcy..... he or she is obviously not spending all his or her time learning and staying sharp on bankruptcy law. There is a reason that lawyers limit their law practices to one area of law or another....and you want the lawyer that does nothing but bankruptcy law for a living. For instance.... What about the Law Offices of Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? The answer is "Yes". In fact....all 12 of our lawyers do nothing but bankruptcy law.
- How many years have you done bankruptcy full-time? You have to be careful here. Lots of lawyers advertise years and years of experience. But the question should be "How many of those years did you spend doing nothing but bankruptcy law?" Generally....the more years....the better. For example, full time for 10 years is way better than full time for a month or even a year. What about Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? Law Offices of John T. Orcutt has actively practiced bankruptcy law since 1985.
- How many bankruptcy cases have you filed? You want the best lawyer available. In most cases....the more cases a lawyer has filed....the more experience the lawyer brings to the table.....and the more expertise the lawyer brings to the table....the better the result, benefit and protection for you and your family. What about the Law Offices of Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? We file between 250 and 330 cases per month. We have filed over 70,000 cases since 1997.
- How many Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases have you filed? This is a very telling question. Lots of lawyers file a few Chapter 7 cases. Some even practice bankruptcy full-time......but only do Chapter 7 cases. In most cases.....Chapter 7 is much easier and less complicated than Chapter 13. In our experience.....the best, most experienced lawyers handle lots of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. What about the Law Offices of Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? We have filed thousands of Chapter 13 cases.
- Do you attend all the Federal, State and local bankruptcy seminars? Bar Associations and Bankruptcy Courts put on seminars every year that keep those attending up to date with the most recent changes to the law. What about the Law Offices of Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? All 12 lawyers attend major seminars each year on a regular basis....barring emergencies or scheduling conflicts.
- Are you a member of NACBA? NACBA stands for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Being a member of NACBA is the not the end all, be all, in determining whether an attorney has the experience you need, but it is a good indication of a strong commitment to providing the very best in bankruptcy services to members of the public, like yourself. What about the Law Offices of Law Offices of John T. Orcutt? All of our attorneys are members of NACBA.