What to Look for in a NJ Bankruptcy Attorney

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If you’ve finally reached a point where bankruptcy looks like your best option, you’re probably trying to figure out how to choose the right bankruptcy attorney to help you through the process. Finding the best NJ bankruptcy lawyer for you is much easier when you know what qualities to look for. You may have to consult with several attorneys before you find the one that feels like a good fit, but taking your time during the selection process will mean you’ll be more likely to have a better outcome.

Look for a bankruptcy attorney who demonstrates the following qualities:

  • Personability: While this may seem like a given, too many people are willing to accept less when it comes to working with professionals. You do not have to work with someone who does not treat you well! Look for a bankruptcy attorney who welcomes you into his office and makes you feel like a friend right away. Personable staff members are important, too. You will be entrusting your attorney and his legal staff with very personal and private information. If they don’t seem like genuinely nice people, it’s time to move on.
  • Experience: Naturally, everyone has to start somewhere, but in general, the best bankruptcy lawyers are those who have significant experience under their belts. Find out how long he’s been practicing law – specifically how long he’s been specializing in NJ bankruptcy. Ask how much of his practice is dedicated to bankruptcy law versus other practice areas and be wary of those attorneys who spread themselves too thin. An attorney who focuses on a smaller number of practice areas is more likely to have honed his craft in those domains.
  • Knowledge: You want a bankruptcy attorney who is up-to-date on all local district bankruptcy rules and regulations as well as federal bankruptcy laws. A good bankruptcy attorney will also be familiar with local bankruptcy trustees including any special requirements they may have during the bankruptcy process.
  • Open communication: While you can’t predict how your attorney’s office will behave in the future, you can definitely inquire about their communication process with clients. Your bankruptcy attorney should be able to give you a clear description of how to get in touch with him at all times. He should also give you a good estimate of how long it takes him to return phone calls and emails. Look for attorneys who are willing to talk freely about their communication style and those who seem honest about how often they will be in contact with you.
  • Passion: Ask your bankruptcy attorney why they started practicing bankruptcy law and listen very carefully to their response. Watch for body language that indicates excitement and passion for the field. An attorney who cannot give you a direct answer to this question or glazes over it with a quip or joke has probably either burned out or entered the legal field for the wrong reasons. The right attorney will respond with answers about helping others get their lives back again, doing good in the community, and feeling rewarded by what he does.

Finally, don’t base your NJ bankruptcy attorney selection process on their fees alone. While it can be stressful to contemplate spending even more money when you are on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, hiring a “bargain basement attorney” will lessen your chances of achieving the outcome you desire. It is definitely important to ask about pricing before signing any paperwork, but keep in mind that, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for.

 

 

 

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