Choosing a bankruptcy attorney

We’ve talked quite a bite about the dangers of filing a pro se bankruptcy case; but what about connecting with a bankruptcy attorney who may not be worth your time, not to mention your money?  Let’s take a look at five signs that your bankruptcy attorney is a “lemon.”

  1. They have an exclusively online operation and you have never stepped into their office. While there are many useful ways that bankruptcy attorneys utilize the internet, using them to exclusively interact with their clients is not a good sign.  A matter of fact, debtors need to be careful about online bankruptcy “advice” portals which aren’t run by attorneys at all.
  2. The bankruptcy attorney has not filed your bankruptcy petition with the court and it has been weeks. Once your bankruptcy petition is filled out completely, the bankruptcy attorney should file the petition with the court as soon as possible so that you can receive the protection of the automatic stay. If the bankruptcy attorney fails to file that petition in a timely manner, they are probably a lemon.
  3. The bankruptcy attorney is unable to answer your questions about the bankruptcy process and also fails to refer you to sources which have the information you seek.
  4. The bankruptcy attorney has non-attorney staff giving legal advice. This actually was a huge issue a few weeks back with a bankruptcy attorney who had non-attorney staff advising clients on which type of bankruptcy to file. If you see this, run to the nearest exit.
  5. Your bankruptcy attorney’s bad reputation precedes him or her. While it is understandable that not everyone will be satisfied with a bankruptcy attorney’s work, if you do your research and find that the negative comments about your bankruptcy attorney outweigh the positive, then you probably got a lemon.