When it comes to choosing a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, there are many points that should be considered. Filing for bankruptcy is an important decision that should be made once legal advice is obtained from an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer. That being said, bankruptcy is a personal decision, not a legal one. An attorney can guide you in the right direction by providing you with the legal ramifications of filing a bankruptcy. The attorney, however, cannot make the decision for you.
As a bankruptcy attorney, I act as both a legal advisor and a personal counselor. At a time when individuals are considering filing for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, they need legal advice and an individual who is willing to listen to their story. They need a shoulder to lean on. An attorney that is simply willing to provide you with a 10 minute consultation should be avoided. These attorneys are more concerned about making money! To avoid this, you should make a list of questions that you want to ask the attorney during the consultation. You should discuss the steps that brought you to the footsteps of a chapter 7 bankruptcy and what you are trying to accomplish by filing. If you are not satisfied with the answers and the attorney is not willing to provide any further guidance, then you should keep shopping.
Prior research is a key to finding the right New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer. You should utilize the internet for researching chapter 7 bankruptcy prior to your consultation. This knowledge will help you “quiz” the bankruptcy lawyer during the consultation to ensure that he or she is fully knowledgeable in the area of law. There are several attorneys that have a general practice and know very little about chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey. These attorneys should be avoided! By conducting previous research, you will get an idea of whether the attorney is current on all aspects of the law. It is important to find an attorney that focuses strictly on chapter 7 bankruptcy law rather than one that has a general practice.
Flexibility in the fee schedule is a key to finding the right New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer. Many bankruptcy attorneys in New Jersey will not start the chapter 7 process until they have received a full payment of the legal fees. These attorneys should be avoided! They are more interested in making money than helping you through the bankruptcy process. You should find an attorney that understands your financial difficult and is willing to work out a reasonable payment plan. Our office usually breaks the payment schedule into 2 or 3 payments. Upon receipt of the first payment, we will immediately file the chapter 7 bankruptcy.
There are times when it is beneficial to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy immediately. When shopping for a bankruptcy lawyer in New Jersey, ask the office if they do “same-day filings”. Most serious bankruptcy firms in New Jersey are set up to handle this request. If you are told that it will take longer than a few days to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with the court, avoid that attorney! As long as your paperwork is in order, the lawyer should be able to file the bankruptcy on the same day as your consultation.
As you can see from the points above: compassion, knowledge, experience, and flexibility are all key points to look for when searching for a New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer.