There are advantages to being part of a bankruptcy law firm. As a Calumet City bankruptcy attorney, I have the ability to handle complex cases since the firm can dedicate the time and energy and resources necessary to handle complex cases. Are you hiring a sole practitioner or are you hiring a small or a large bankruptcy law firm? These factors will all play in to what the price is, what the experience is going to be like and ultimately what your results are going to be like.
I recommend you hire a law firm that is midsize whereby there is anywhere from 5 to 15 bankruptcy attorneys working on your behalf. I believe that you will get the best results from a law firm as opposed to a sole practitioner just based on the fact that attorneys within the law firm can work together on cases. Do not simply hire cheap bankruptcy lawyers. If you hire a midsize law firm, you are basically hiring the collective expertise of that entire law firm. Since bankruptcy is a complex area of the law, not every law firm or every attorney is going to be versed in all the different facets. By hiring a small firm, you have the ability to get the collective knowledge of the firm. What I mean by that is if one attorney doesn’t quite understand reaffirmation agreements that well, they can ask another attorney in their office to assist them or turn you over to that other attorney when it comes to the reaffirmation issue.
There are also many law firms that do not handle adversarial complaints. What that means is they will handle your bankruptcy case but if there is a separate adversarial complaint filed by a creditor, they cannot handle it. And in that instance, you will then have to find alternative counsel, a different bankruptcy lawyer or a different law firm to handle that facet of the bankruptcy case.
At my firm, we have enough people with enough skills to handle all facets of the bankruptcy case. We have attorneys that do intakes. We have attorneys that do 341 Meetings of creditors. We have attorneys that handle bankruptcy Chapter 13 exclusively. We have attorneys that can handle an adversarial complaint and deal with that litigation from start to finish. These are important factors that you want to look for when you are hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Are they versed in bankruptcy law? Do they have the requisite experience? Do they have the ability to handle your case and answer your questions and make you feel comfortable throughout the process? If they do, that is the law firm that I think you should hire regardless of what the price is, unless the price is through the roof.
In other words, don’t pick an attorney based on price. The cheaper attorney is not necessarily a better attorney. The more expensive attorney is not necessarily a better attorney. The better attorney is the one who has the requisite experience and knowledge and skill to handle your case and very importantly, one that you feel you have a relationship with where they will be open lines of communications, where you will get your questions answered, you will get your calls returned and you will feel comfortable with the attorney and the staff. The decision on which attorney you hire is the most important decision to make when claiming bankruptcy.