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How to Hire a Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer

It’s never easy to declare bankruptcy, but it can be much more difficult without the right attorney. If you’re considering bankruptcy, you need a strong and experienced advocate to handle your case. This article offers some advice on how to find the right Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer for you.

Locating a Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you’ve never hired a bankruptcy lawyer before, you may not know where to start. There are two easy ways to start your search for an attorney to file your Philadelphia Chapter 7 bankruptcy (known as straight bankruptcy) or Philadelphia Chapter 13 bankruptcy (known as reorganization).

One method is to ask your family, friends or colleagues for suggestions. Someone you know may have experience with bankruptcy and could give you a personal recommendation, or may be able to point you in the right direction. Be sure to ask some additional questions about the case and the lawyer. A lawyer who was right for one person may not be right for you, and more information will help you make a good decision.

Find out about the lawyer and the case by asking:

  • How it was to work with the attorney
  • If they were happy with the representation, communication and advice
  • If they would use the attorney again
  • The type of bankruptcy case
  • The cost of legal fees and expenses

You may find a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer through a personal referral, but you may want or need to find other attorneys. Attorneys.com is a large and valuable resource for locating bankruptcy lawyers. You can easily find attorneys across the Philadelphia area, from Chester to Cheltenham and beyond.

Simply call 1-877-913-7222 or use the online form on this site. After you answer some short questions, you’ll get the names and contact information for bankruptcy attorneys nearby. They will contact you within two business days, or you may call them yourself.

Important Qualities in a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Soon, you’ll be meeting with lawyers, and it helps to know what to look for in advance. Good consumer bankruptcy lawyers share some common qualities. You probably have an idea of what you hope to find in a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer, and a personal connection with a lawyer’s style, confidence and manner is very important.

Equally important are some specific elements of an attorney’s practice, including:

  • Experience and education in bankruptcy law
  • Experience in filing Philadelphia Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Philadelphia City Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases
  • Knowledge and experience with the bankruptcy court in your area and its staff
  • The fee arrangement, including the expenses and hourly rate you will be charged
  • The attorney’s approach to your specific situation

Remember that you are looking for an attorney you can work with comfortably for a long period, so add your personal requirements to this list.

The Initial Consultation

Now that you have attorney names and you know what to look for, it’s time to meet with your potential attorney or attorneys.

The initial consultation, or first meeting, is the time to present your case to an attorney, ask questions and get a feel for that attorney and his practice. Although you should check ahead of time, there’s normally no charge for the consultation and there’s no obligation to hire the attorney.

Before the consultation, write a list of questions that will help you find the right Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer. When you’re fully prepared, call each attorney on your list and schedule a consultation.

At your meeting, use your list of questions to:

  • Learn about the attorney’s experience, education and work
  • Get an initial opinion on your case and how it will proceed
  • Learn how the attorney communicates and relates to you

The meeting is confidential, so you should be completely honest with the attorney. You should also bring any papers that explain your situation. These may include bank statements, loan documents, paystubs, legal or collection papers filed against you and a list of creditors. If any of your assets have been repossessed or are in foreclosure, you should let the attorney know, and bring a pen and paper to take notes.

Hiring a Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer

After the consultations, you may feel that you need some more information about one or more of the attorneys. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for client references. Many attorneys will let you contact previous clients, and you may ask them about their experience with the attorney, if they were satisfied and if they’d hire the attorney again.

When you’re satisfied that you’ve found the right Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer, contact the attorney and move forward with your case.

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