I tend to meet clients who have visited other bankruptcy attorneys so I typically ask them what they thought of the previous attorney. I was shocked to learn what some of my clients told me. So here is a compiled list of things to be on the lookout out for when meeting a bankruptcy attorney:
Your consultation is with the paralegal or law clerk and not the attorney
This has to be one of the worst things I hear from clients who met other attorneys. I’ll ask them what they thought of the previous attorney and they tell me that they never met the attorney, instead they had a consultation with the paralegal. If that doesn’t scare you, it SHOULD. Paralegals cannot give you legal advice and more likely than not what they tell you is incorrect. If the attorney isn’t even willing to meet with you then how do you know they will even review your case before it is filed?
When you call the schedule a consultation they tell you there is a fee
A consultation fee, while allowed, is probably a good reason to walk away from the potential bankruptcy attorney . Bankruptcy attorneys in particular must consider their clients circumstances, limited funds, and thus should always offer individual debtors
The attorney only does Chapter 7 bankruptcy
If you meet an attorney and they tell you that they only handle Chapter 7 cases it may not be in your best interest to stay there. They may try to push you into filing a Chapter 7 and you may have to give up certain assets to do so. However sometimes Chapter 7 isn’t the best fit for a client, sometimes a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is useful because the client can wipe out the 2nd mortgage on a home or decrease the loan amount on a vehicle.
The attorney only looks at your paystubs and tells you that you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
The easiest way to determine if someone can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to look at their paystubs and see if they fit under the median income. HOWEVER, even if a debtor doesn’t fit under the median income does not prevent them from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it just requires the attorney to do more work and to compare the debtor’s income to his or her expenses.
If you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney in South Florida then please consider calling Shmucher Law, PL at 305-741-5553 or 954-309-5559. We offer free consultations in any of our office locations including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, and Sunrise Florida.