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Finding the Right Oakland Bankruptcy Lawyer

With all the financial pressures that you’re facing, it’s tempting to pick the first attorney you can find. This is mistake most of the time, however. With just a bit of patience and diligence, you can spare yourself from headaches down the road.

Fortunately, there are some tips to help you find the right bankruptcy attorney.

Tip #1: Go to your Local Bar Association

In each state in the U.S. there is a bar association that regulates and licenses attorneys throughout that state. The state bar associations have local chapters by county. So, if you’re looking for a Oakland bankruptcy lawyer you could call the Alameda County Bar Association to see if you can find a good bankruptcy lawyer. In fact, most if not all county bar associations have a referral service set up specifically for this purpose.

Tip #2: Referrals

There’s no question about it, the economy has really taken a hit since 2008. It’s no surprise then that the number of bankruptcies has increased dramatically since then. You may not directly know someone who has filed bankruptcy but it is likely that your friends, acquaintances or family members know someone who has filed bankruptcy and can refer you to a good bankruptcy attorney. Go ahead and ask. Most people you ask would most likely be willing to steer you in the right direction if they can help.

Tip #3: Shop Around

If you were purchasing a big screen television, there’s no doubt that you would spend whatever time necessary to make sure that you get the best price and service for that television. Looking for the right Oakland bankruptcy lawyer is no different. Just because someone is an attorney and can do the job doesn’t necessarily make them the best attorney for YOU. There are a number of factors that play into which attorney you should choose. First start with the obvious places to get a list of attorneys. Start with a websites like the one you’re reading now and gather names of law firms. If you’re looking for a Oakland bankruptcy lawyer then that would be a great phase to enter into Google. Once you have a list of law offices to call, start making phone calls to a feel for whether the firms you call are businesses that you would like to work with.

Did you leave a message with one attorney and he took a week to call you back? Well that might be one firm to eliminate from your list. What was the personality of the attorney like? Was he or she pleasant to speak to? These may sound like simple questions but actually they’re important. I mean do you want to work with someone you find unpleasant just because they can help you file bankruptcy? Of course not. You want the process to be as smooth and pleasant as possible.

Once you narrow your list down to a few attorneys, set up appointments with them. Most attorney’s these days offer free consultations, so you really don’t have much to lose.

Ask yourself, does the attorney seem organized and efficient? Would I feel comfortable working with this person? Make sure you’re clear before you agree to be represented.

Tip #4 Don’t go for the Cheapest Lawyer

Sometimes you see lawyers advertising for what seem to be very low prices. However, the low prices may only apply for clients who have only the most basic of situations. For example, you might only get the low price if you have no real property and a limited number of debts. Some attorneys charge a low start up fee of say $100 to retain you as a client while allowing you to pay the balance of the attorney fee over time. However, the total attorney fee usually must be paid before the bankruptcy case is filed with the court.

Those are just a few examples of what I’ve seen. Competition is what drives the prices for attorneys lower. This can be a good thing. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Most people only file bankruptcy once in their lifetime. If this is going to be that one time for you, why not spend a few extra dollars more if you can afford it to help ensure that you will get the quality representation you deserve.