When considering filing for bankruptcy in Lansing, Michigan, choosing a bankruptcy attorney is one of the first decisions you will need to make. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one.
We all know that the legal system can be confusing and intimidating, especially when you're in a situation where you need help navigating it.
Before you start searching for an attorney, make sure you have the following information:
- What stage of bankruptcy are you at?
- Are there any documents or information you need from your creditors?
- Is there anything else that might affect your case? (for example, do you have any assets that could be liquidated?)
Once you have all the necessary information for your Lansing bankruptcy attorney, you can start your search.
Here are 8 tips to help you get started on how to choose a Lansing bankruptcy attorney that is right for you.
1. Do your research
Before you even start looking for a Lansing bankruptcy attorney, it is essential to research and familiarize yourself with the bankruptcy process. This will help you know what to expect and what questions to ask when meeting with potential attorneys.
2. Search for specialized bankruptcy attorneys
You will need to find out what kind of attorney you need—a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If you're unsure, our website provides a brief overview of the different types of bankruptcy cases there are and how each of them may help your current situation.
Once you know whether you'll be filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, start looking for attorneys in Lansing that specialize in that area. A good place to start is with online reviews—you can get an idea of what people think about their experiences with different attorneys in Lansing and which ones might be right for you.
3. Read reviews
It's important to see what others have had to say about an attorney's work and whether they felt they were treated fairly by their lawyer.
When looking for reviews online, ensure you're reading reviews from people who have actually worked with the lawyer in question—not just someone who's heard good things about them! You don't want to be represented by someone who isn't looking out for your best interests.
4. Ask for recommendations
If you know anyone who has recently gone through bankruptcy, ask them for recommendations. They may be able to share insights about their own experiences and point you in the direction of a good attorney.
5. Check credentials
When you have a few attorneys in mind, check their credentials to ensure they are qualified to handle your case. Michigan requires all attorneys to be licensed by the state bar. You can also check to see if they have any disciplinary actions against them.
Look for a license from the State Bar of Michigan that hasn't expired and other regional or national organizations that regulate attorneys, such as the American Bar Association. These credentials will help reassure you that your lawyer is qualified to handle your case.
In addition, check if they are members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). This organization provides its members with resources, education, and networking opportunities to help them provide high-quality legal services. They also require their members to adhere to a strict code of ethics.
6. Meet with the attorney
Once you have narrowed down your choices, set up a meeting with each of the attorneys you are considering. During this meeting, ask them questions about their experience with the type of bankruptcy case you're filing and their fees.
Ask them what they would do if there were any problems during the process, and make sure they give detailed answers! It's also helpful if they offer examples from previous cases where issues occurred. This shows they have experience handling these situations.
7. Consider costs
Of course, you will need to consider the cost of hiring a Lansing bankruptcy attorney. Be sure to ask about all fees upfront, so there are no surprises later. You should also find out if the attorney offers payment plans or discounts for certain situations.
Some attorneys charge more than others, depending on what part of Michigan they practice and what kind of legal services they provide. You may find that one attorney charges less than another but offers less service, or another attorney charges more but offers more services.
You also need to consider that some attorneys charge by the hour, and others charge by the case.
- Hourly rate: If an attorney charges by the hour, they will bill you for every hour they work on your case. The hourly rate is a more flexible option because it allows you to pay only for needed services. However, if your case goes longer than expected, this could be more expensive than paying a flat fee upfront.
- Flat fee: If they charge by the case, they will bill you at a flat rate for all the work they do on your case. The flat fee will cover all your legal expenses and should include filing fees. If you choose this route, ensure that you understand precisely what is included in your flat fee so that there are no surprises down the line!
You must find an attorney who meets your needs at a price point that works for your budget!
8. Trust your instincts
Finally, trust your gut! If something feels off about an attorney or firm, don't hesitate to walk away—there are plenty of other options out there!
There are many different ways to choose the right Lansing bankruptcy attorney for your case. If you are unsure where to start, we recommend scheduling a consultation today!
At Acclaim Legal Services, we have helped hundreds of individuals throughout Michigan with bankruptcy cases over the years, so we know what it takes to get results. Our team will be happy to answer any questions about our services or any other legal concerns you may have.