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How to Hire a Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorney

If you've never hired an attorney before, you might not know how to go about finding a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney. This article will offer you tips and show you how an attorney is closer than you realize.

If you're in over your head financially, it's a good idea to talk over your options with a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney. Before you do anything else, however, you should take a moment to reflect on the qualities you would like an attorney who represents you to have. You probably want an attorney with:

  • Experience in representing Pennsylvania clients in bankruptcy court
  • A deep understanding of federal and state bankruptcy laws in Pennsylvania
  • A fee that is reasonable
  • Good advice and judgment
  • A personality you can work with for several months

Finding a Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorney

There are several ways of finding a Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer. You can ask your friends, family, and work associates if they have ever needed a bankruptcy attorney and if they'd recommend the lawyer they hired. First-hand recommendations can be invaluable. Your tax preparer, too, may have a referral for you.

If you're shy about discussing your finances with people you know or if you just want another name for your list, you have another resource right in front of you. Whether you are in Philadelphia, Allentown, or any other part of the state, Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you to a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney in your area.

Simply call us at 1-877-913-7222 or complete the short form on this web site. After answering a few questions, we'll forward to you the name and contact information of at least one Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer in your area. Feel free to contact the lawyer yourself, or he or she will call you within two business days.

Preparing to Meet with a Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorney

Many bankruptcy lawyers in Pennsylvania are willing to sit down with you for a brief introductory meeting, called an initial consultation. You can accomplish several important tasks at an initial consultation. You can:

  • Hear about the attorney's background and experience
  • Discuss your bankruptcy options
  • Determine whether this is someone you'd want to hire

Oftentimes, the initial consultations are made available to you free of charge or for a nominal fee. Ask about this when you call to book the appointment.

The top priority at the initial consultation is to figure out whether you want to hire the lawyer. With that in mind, you should make a list of questions you'd like to ask the attorney. Some areas to cover include:

  • How much experience the attorney has in representing Pennsylvania consumers with their bankruptcy filings
  • The lawyer's assessment of your financial situation and bankruptcy recommendations
  • How much you will have to pay in legal fees and related legal expenses

The initial consultation is also a good place to bring up any special needs that you may have. For example, you may only be able to take after-hours phone calls or need weekend appointments. Ask if the lawyers you meet with can accommodate those needs before you make a hiring decision.

Meeting with a Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Lawyer

You should walk into your initial consultations as prepared as you can be. Not only should you bring your list of written questions and writing material, so that you can record the answers, you should also bring:

  • A list of your past and current debts
  • A list of your property, your bank accounts and any other financial holdings, such as stocks or retirement accounts
  • A copy of the deed to your house
  • Proof of your income, such as tax returns or paycheck stubs
  • Any recent communication with collectors
  • In answering the lawyer's questions, you should speak freely. Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys are bound by strict confidentiality guidelines that prevent them from disclosing anything discussed at an initial consultation. Even if you decide to hire someone else, any attorney you meet at an initial consultation will keep your information confidential.

    After the meeting, ask yourself some questions:

    • Does this lawyer have the experience I need?
    • Am I confident in his or her advice and judgment?
    • Is the estimate of legal fees and expenses fair?
    • Am I comfortable with this attorney?

    When you have interviewed the last Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer on your list, it's time to hire one. If you only met with one but it was a really good fit for you-or if you met with several but one was an obvious standout-then your decision is an easy one.

    If, however, you are torn between two or more attorneys, ask for the names and contact information of several past clients. Then call those clients to get some real-world feedback about their experiences with the lawyers. This should help you home in on your best choice for legal representation.

    Once you have hired a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney, you are ready to move forward with filing for bankruptcy and wiping your financial slate clean.

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