So your finances are getting away from you? You’re not alone. Every year millions of Americans file for bankruptcy. They lose their jobs, they incur unforeseen medical expenses, or they keep trying to pay but it never seems like their balance goes down. Then their creditors start filing lawsuits against them. They go online and they look up with that means. They realize that it means the creditor could place a lien on their home, garnish their wages, or levy their bank account. And they’re already struggling to make ends meet.
Eventually, they end up researching bankruptcy lawyers. They realize there are a few possibilities in their area. But how do you choose? What makes one bankruptcy attorney “better” than another one? Well, all bankruptcy attorneys basically do the same thing, but it’s how they manage your case that separates them. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the qualities the best bankruptcy attorneys have.
A Client-Centered Approach
When you deal with a larger bankruptcy firm, you’re going to be dealing with attorneys that are managing several clients at the same time. At Butcher Law Office, our philosophy is different. Instead of working in volume, we tried to provide the best one-on-one experience for every client. We follow up with you throughout every stage of the bankruptcy process and make sure that you’re aware where your case is at.
We understand that bankruptcy and debt issues are extremely stressful. That’s why we strive to provide a compassionate and respectful environment for all of our clients.
Find a Bankruptcy Specialist
Some attorneys play both sides of the field. In other words, they deal in debt and collections, including bankruptcy law. While they’re helping prepare your bankruptcy filing, they’re also filing lawsuits against debtors or someone else in their firm is. In other words, they’re creditor’s rights attorneys who moonlight filing bankruptcies.
Bankruptcy specialists help individuals and companies stay afloat. We do not help creditors collect debts or file lawsuits on behalf of creditors. We work directly with our clients, talk to them about their goals, discuss how bankruptcy will affect their credit (both the positives and the negatives), and we ensure that they are in a better position than they were before they filed bankruptcy.
Avoid Bankruptcy Mills
Bankruptcy mills may only cater to those filing bankruptcies, but they work in volume, often (but not necessarily) cutting their potential clients small deals. The problem with bankruptcy mills is that, because they work in volume, they can’t adapt their advice to your individual situation. In cases where your finances are complicated by multiple different kinds of debts, child support payments, or you may risk your mortgage by making the wrong move, having a bankruptcy attorney who is listening to what you’re saying and taking your individual needs into account can make all the difference.
Signs that you are dealing with a bankruptcy mill include:
● You see them on billboards all over your city
● They file impossible numbers of bankruptcies each month
● They rely on non-attorney support staff to file paperwork
● You don’t ever seem to directly be talking to your lawyer
● They come to your hearing unprepared
Small bankruptcy firms don’t have to type your name into the computer to remember who you are. You won’t be meeting us for the first time when you’re at your hearing. While we rely on support staff, we don’t expect them to do the work we as lawyers are expected to do. This helps us help you better.
When you come to a solo bankruptcy lawyer, we discuss all of your options moving forward. We help you make the best and most informed decision possible. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, we can recommend a best course of action depending on your individual goals. We do not assign you a number, and you will have a face-to-face with us prior to your bankruptcy
What Should You Expect from a Bankruptcy Attorney?
A quality bankruptcy attorney should be able to work within your financial means. Bankruptcy attorneys understand that you’re already struggling, but their job is to leave you in a better position than you were before, not to add to your debt.
Your bankruptcy attorney should listen attentively to you when you describe your situation. Do you own a home that you’re currently making payments on? Do you want to keep the home or don’t you think you can afford it? It’s important that your bankruptcy attorney has a firm handle on both your financial situation and your goals before moving forward with a filing.
You should expect that your bankruptcy attorney will keep you apprised of key dates while your bankruptcy is being processed. There will be several regardless of what chapter you’re filing under. Communication between you and your bankruptcy attorney should work both ways.
You should expect that your bankruptcy attorney will prepare and file all of your paperwork with the court. You provide your financial information to your attorney, and we plug the numbers into the software we use. This software then generates the forms required for a complete bankruptcy filing. A poorly filed bankruptcy can cause unnecessary delays in the process and even get your case dismissed.
Why Should You Choose Butcher Law Office?
Tom is a member of the Debtor-Creditor Section Oregon State Bar. He worked at two bankruptcy law firms prior to starting his own practice. He spends time as a volunteer at Lane County Legal Services and Legal Aid Services in Oregon helping individuals who meet specific financial requirements get the quality representation they need to start fresh.
Tom believes that the practice of bankruptcy law requires strong ethics, empathy, and a firm handle of the law. He believes his job is to ensure a positive outcome for all of his clients and help them get to a better place financially than they are now.
If you’re in financial trouble, Butcher Law Office, LLC can help you get to a more comfortable place financially and give you solid footing on which to rebuild your credit moving forward. Call us today or fill out our online form for more details.