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How to Hire a Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney

If you've dug yourself into a financial hole with no means of getting out, it may be time to talk to a Michigan bankruptcy attorney. But if you've never hired a lawyer before, you might not know how to go about finding one. This article will help.

Finding a Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer

There are several ways of finding a Michigan bankruptcy lawyer.

You can ask around your friends, family, and colleagues to see if they ever used the services of a Michigan bankruptcy attorney. You can also ask your tax preparer.

If you're hesitant to share your financial struggles with people you know, you can also use a resource right here. Whether you live in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City or elsewhere in Michigan, offers a service to connect you with a Michigan bankruptcy attorney in your area.

When you're ready to start the process, call us at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the short form here on the website. Upon answering a few questions, we'll forward the name and contact information of at least one bankruptcy attorney in your area. Feel free to contact the lawyer directly, or he or she will contact you within two business days.

Preparing to Meet with a Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney

Now that you have the name of at least one Michigan bankruptcy attorney, you are ready to move on to the next step: the interview. Many bankruptcy lawyers in Michigan are willing to talk with you during a brief introductory meeting, called an initial consultation. You should definitely take them up on it.

The initial consultation has several objectives:

  • You can learn about the attorney's background and experience
  • You can get vital feedback about your bankruptcy options
  • You can determine whether the attorney is someone you'd want representing you
  • Oftentimes, Michigan bankruptcy attorneys will not charge you for their time at an initial consultation or will just ask for a nominal fee. Makes sure you ask about this when you call to book the appointment.

    Before the initial consultation, you should think about the qualities you want your Michigan bankruptcy attorney to have. In this way, you will recognize the right attorney for you when you meet him or her. You probably want a lawyer with the following traits:

    • Experienced: You need someone who has a solid background representing consumers filing for bankruptcy
    • Fair: You want to pay a reasonable legal fee for services
    • Sharp: You need someone that gives you confidence in his or her advice, abilities, and judgment
    • Pleasant: You want someone you can envision yourself working side-by-side with for several months

    Keeping these qualities in mind, create a list of questions you'd like to ask during the initial consultation. Remember that your most important goal at an initial consultation is to figure out if this attorney is someone you would want representing you. Focus on questions that will help you in your decision-making process. Some topics to include are:

      The attorney's background and experience in helping consumers file bankruptcy in federal court

    • Your various options, such as which type of bankruptcy to file, which debts will be eliminated, and which property you can hold onto
    • Legal fees and projected other legal expenses

    If you have any special requests, ask about them at the initial consultation. For example, you may need communication in Spanish or weekend appointments. You'll want to know whether the lawyer can help you with this before hiring him or her.

    Meeting with a Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer

    You should take some time to get prepared for your initial consultation. Your ability to organize your financial records may even save you money. Gather and bring with you:

    • Your list of questions
    • Pen and paper to record the answers and any notes you want to take
    • A list of past and present debts
    • A list of property you own, bank accounts, and other financial assets
    • A copy to the deed of your home if you own
    • Proof of your income, including tax returns and paycheck stubs
    • Any recent communication from collectors

    As the attorney asks you questions, you should answer them openly and honestly with full confidence that what you talk about stays in that room. That is because bankruptcy lawyers in Michigan are bound by strict confidentiality laws that prevent them from divulging anything you talk about at an initial consultation even if you end up hiring someone else.

    As you run through the questions on your list, think back to the qualities you defined as most desirable in a Michigan bankruptcy attorney for you. Then ask yourself:

    • Does this attorney have the experience and background I need?
    • Am I confident in the lawyer's advice and judgment?
    • Are the legal fees fair and have they been fully explained to me?
    • Am I comfortable with this attorney?

    The answers to these questions should help you home in on the best candidate to represent you in bankruptcy court. If you're still torn between two or more lawyers, consider calling their former clients to get some first-hand feedback about their experiences. This should help you narrow the field even more.

    Once you've found the right Michigan bankruptcy attorney for you, you are ready to dig yourself out of the financial hole and start fresh again.