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How to Hire a Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you're swimming in a sea of red ink and see no means of paying off your bills in the near future, it may be time to talk with a Georgia bankruptcy attorney. But where do you find one? This article will give you some practical suggestions.

Before you do anything, you should pause for a moment and consider what the ideal Georgia bankruptcy lawyer would look like. You probably want a lawyer who:

  • Has experience representing clients filing bankruptcy in Georgia
  • Is well versed in federal and Georgia bankruptcy law
  • Charges a reasonable fee
  • Gives wise advice and has good judgment
  • Is someone you can see yourself working side-by-side with for several months

Finding a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney

There are several ways of locating Georgia bankruptcy lawyers.

One way is to seek out friends, family members, or business colleagues who may have filed for bankruptcy in the past. Personal recommendations can be valuable. Your tax preparer may have another lead for you as well.

If you're reluctant to share your financial situation with people you know or you just want another name to add to your list, another option is to use Attorneys.com. Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you to a Georgia bankruptcy attorney in your area.

When you are ready to start the process, dial 1-877-913-7222 or complete the short form on this web site. After you answer a few questions, we'll forward you the name of at least one Georgia bankruptcy lawyer in your area. Feel free to call the attorney yourself, or he or she will contact you within two business days.

Preparing to Meet with a Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyer

Now that you have the name of at least one lawyer, it's time to take the next step: Set up an interview. Most bankruptcy lawyers in Georgia are willing to meet with you for a short introductory session, called an initial consultation. Initial consultations are the perfect place to:

  • Learn about the attorney's background and experience
  • Get some feedback about what options you have to get control of your finances
  • Decide whether you have met the attorney who should represent you

Some attorneys do not charge for their time during the initial consultations, while others charge a nominal fee. Be sure to ask about any fee when you book the appointment.

Remember that your primary goal at the initial consultation is to determine whether this is the Georgia bankruptcy attorney you want to hire, so develop a list of questions you'd like to ask the attorney. Focus your questions on topics that will help you decide whether to hire him or her. Some good topics to ask about are:

  • How much experience the attorney has in representing clients filing personal bankruptcy
  • Your bankruptcy options: which type of bankruptcy you should file, which debts will be eliminated, and which property you will have to sell
  • Legal fees and expected expenses you will have to pay

If you have any special needs in an attorney, such as weekend appointments or communication in Spanish, you should mention that at the initial consultation.

Meeting with a Georgia Bankruptcy Lawyer

By preparing ahead of time for your initial consultations, your time with the attorneys will be much more productive. Besides your list of questions and some writing materials to record the answers, also bring with you:

  • A list of your past and present debts
  • A schedule, or list, of you what you own, your bank accounts, and other financial assets
  • Information about your home mortgage or lease
  • A way to validate your income, for example, with tax returns and paycheck stubs
  • Recent communication from collectors

Whether you are in Savannah or Rome or any other part of Georgia, be prepared to answer specific questions from the attorney. There is no need to hold back during these meetings. All bankruptcy lawyers in Georgia are bound by strict confidentiality guidelines that prevent them from divulging anything that you discuss at an initial consultation Even if you decide to hire a different attorney, all content discussed at an initial consultation will be kept confidential.

When you have met with all the lawyers on your list, it's time to choose one to represent you. If you only met with one, but you are confident in his or her abilities, or if you met with several, but one was outstanding, then your decision is an easy one.

If, however, you have several worthy candidates, get the contact information for a few of their former clients. Then call them to get some first-hand feedback.

Now it's time to interview yourself. Ask yourself:

  • Which lawyer has the experience and background in filing Georgia bankruptcies you need
  • In which attorney's advice and judgment are you most confident?
  • Which attorneys' fees were most reasonable?
  • With which attorney were you most comfortable?
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