Let’s take a look at some things that you, as a client, should expect from your bankruptcy attorney. If you don’t see these things addressed by your lawyer, you might be headed for trouble.
Plan to fill out some written materials before you meet with a lawyer.
A good bankruptcy lawyer will have forms for you to fill in before you meet face to face. These forms should not be difficult, but they will help you organize your thoughts and collect important information that will allow you and your attorney to make key decisions about your case.
Don’t expect to “hire” a lawyer over the phone.
In some circumstances, you may get to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer by telephone before you meet. But don’t expect that phone call to result in a lawyer-client agreement. The hiring of your lawyer must be done in writing—something you both sign. If you have nothing in writing from the lawyer, don’t expect that lawyer to care what happens to you.
Expect to give your lawyer copies of key documents.
If your lawyer doesn’t insist on seeing copies of key documents, you’re talking to the wrong lawyer. If you have a mortgage foreclosure, for example, your lawyer should insist on getting copies of the foreclosure notices from you. The same goes if you are being sued. Copies of court documents or a pending case against you may be important. These documents are likely to contain critical dates that will affect the timing of your bankruptcy case. If you expect to hire a good lawyer, expect that lawyer to insist on seeing the documents before he or she is hired.
Expect your lawyer to keep you on track during your first meeting.
Experienced bankruptcy lawyers show their expertise by getting through the first meeting very efficiently. They will quickly understand the important information about your case and get you moving quickly toward bankruptcy solutions that are available for your circumstances. This will help you feel better about your circumstances right away instead of wallowing in depression.