Sometimes things don't go the way you expect them to in life, and then you might find yourself dealing with a world of trouble. All of those problems can start to eat you alive if you don't take action soon enough.

Bankruptcy can be a scary term, but it can also be incredibly beneficial. It might even be the best financial step for you in your current situation.

But before you go ahead and declare bankruptcy by yourself, consider hiring a lawyer for the job. Bankruptcy might already have quite a toll on your mental wellbeing, and you might be even more stressed out if something goes wrong during the process.

Here are ten tips that can help you get the right bankruptcy lawyer for the job.

1. Search Local

For a bankruptcy lawyer, you need to search those that belong to your area. The attorneys that only work locally are more familiar with the local process and laws.

If you do go to a fancy large firm that has offices everywhere around, you might have to face a little more obstacles and pay more. Getting a local Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer to help you out of this challenging situation might be the best choice.

2. Ask For Referrals from Your Network of Trustees

Looking for lawyers can be quite challenging for bankruptcy because you need someone who won't judge you and will handle your case like a professional. That's why you need someone you can trust right from the beginning. If you are having trouble finding someone like that by yourself, then try to ask your friends, family, or acquaintances.

If anyone in your contacts has gone through bankruptcy before, then they can refer you to their trusted lawyer, and you can add them to your list of prospects. If you don't know anyone who has gone through bankruptcy but has used a local lawyer for another purpose, then they can ask their attorney for someone.

When a local lawyer is good in their area of expertise, they might very likely be known for it.

3. Look Into the Reviews

After you have gone through your network and found some names by yourself, you need to get online and start looking through reviews.

The internet is truly a wonderful place where you can find just about anything you want. When searching for lawyers, you will find their websites, reviews on other sites, and even some comments about them on Google.

Go through as much information as you possibly can about a bankruptcy lawyer before you make the decision.

4. What Do They Specialize In?

You might come across a law firm that helps out people in just about every area of law. While that may be working for them, you should not visit a firm like that.

You need to find a firm that specializes in bankruptcy law. When you pick a firm that strictly helps with everything under bankruptcy, you will have a much better chance of getting through this successfully.

You don't get more than once chance at a time when you are filing for bankruptcy, so you have to make sure that it's done right.

5. Check the Types of Bankruptcy Services That They Provide

Everyone has a unique issue when it comes to bankruptcy, and not every lawyer can do good at everything. That is why it might help you to check what kind of bankruptcy services the lawyer provides.

For convenience, here are the main bankruptcy services that you may need:

● Chapter 7
● Chapter 13
● Automatic Stay
● Bank Levies
● Bankruptcy and taxes
● Bankruptcy and divorce
● Home foreclosure
Debt settlement
● Emergency bankruptcy
● Bankruptcy exemptions
● Lawsuits and bankruptcy
● Means testing
● The 341 hearing
● Vehicle repossession
● Wage garnishment

6. Find Out Their Experience

Experience might be one of a handful of aspects that can have incredible value. Not only that, but it can also directly affect the outcome of your situation.

When you are looking for a suitable bankruptcy lawyer for the job, ask them about their experience, specifically in bankruptcy law. A good figure is considered to be higher than eight years. By then, they might have a really good idea about the things that could happen and how to handle most situations.

7. Ask For Client Testimonials

When you are meeting up with a lawyer that has a really great track record and a great number of years behind them, they will most likely have a long list of previous happy clients who will be willing to give comments on the attorney's services.

You should ask them for the list and contact as many people as you can to see how their experience was. If you want to, ask them for a client whose case was similar to yours. You should talk to them and ask for some details if they are comfortable with providing. Anything can be helpful.

8. Do They Offer Free Consultations?

Since you are already considering bankruptcy, you might not be in good financial condition. That is why you should consider looking for lawyers that offer free initial consultations.

These can be really helpful in providing you some details on your case, and the attorney may also tell you how they can tackle it.

While these free consultations do say that a firm is confident you will pick them, don't let it cloud your judgment when deciding. There are some firms that only do it to lure people in, and you need to separate the good attorneys from the bad ones.

9. Cheapest Option Isn't the Right Option

You have been going through some tough times, and you probably don't want to spend more money than you absolutely need to for filing bankruptcy. But the thing is, filing for bankruptcy isn't entirely straightforward. For this complicated process to go well in your favor, you need the help of a good lawyer.

Keep in mind, cheap and affordable are two separate things when you are looking for an attorney. Visit several firms and find out what the estimated range is for good lawyers and the most affordable choice.

10. Stay Involved

When you find the right attorney for your bankruptcy needs, you need to get the processed started as soon as possible and stay involved throughout it.

When you are completely involved, it can help you and your lawyer out during the process.

Ask Your Bankruptcy Lawyer Some Questions

When you go in for a consultation, you will probably talk about many things and discuss the entire problem. But while you are talking to a lawyer, you should ask them a set of questions.

Note down all the answers you get from the lawyers on a notepad and then compare them to find the most suitable attorney.

Here are four vital questions that you should consider asking:

According to my situation, is declaring bankruptcy the right option for me?

An experienced attorney must be able to recommend the best options for you in your current position. They should also clearly explain the details of the common bankruptcy types, such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

They should also tell you about the complications that could arise from either one.

What are some of the pros and cons of going bankrupt for me?

You need a bankruptcy attorney who is completely genuine with you and can provide a realistic set of pros and cons from declaring bankruptcy.

They might answer the question by telling you about the debts you might still be under and how the best bankruptcy option can make your life easier if you do go for it. If you have given them all the specifics for your case, then they should be able to provide you with details.

Will I be billed on a flat or hourly rate?

There are quite a lot of complications when it comes to billing, and the attorney rates can significantly vary according to your area of residence. That's why you should have a clear understanding of the rate you will have to pay when everything is done. Otherwise, you might end up filing for bankruptcy again when the bill comes through.

Many attorneys will charge you an hourly rate, but they may give you a flat price for some cases. Just make sure you get the exact specifics.

Will you be preparing a written document for the fees?

When you ask any lawyer this question, their immediate reply needs to be yes.

You can't, and you shouldn't trust the word of anyone when it comes to financial matters. Oral agreements might be suitable for certain instances, but they are not the best option in this case.

For your own safety and protection, you need to get an attorney who will outline the precise fee and the services included in the fees on a formal business agreement. This will usually end with yours and your attorney's signature, and maybe even their official stamp.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist, Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker