Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Choosing a good attorney..

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  • Choosing a good attorney..

    I am looking for insight in moving forward and making a good decision. It is tough!! I made the decision to file finally, and retained what I believe to be a very good, accessible attorney. He is knowledgeable, answers my questions and is responsive. I have every confidence they will handle my case right. The problem: They are very expensive and I have to stretch out payments over a series of months. In the meantime, I am getting calls daily from creditors, and I am afraid of what will happen until I actually file. I have referred the calls to my attorney and they just say "we will call until the case is filed". I have always paid on time and I just hate this and want it to be over. Now, on the other hand, I have a legal plan with attorneys who can do the bankruptcy now, for a minimal fee, but they are all well...let's just say I am not comfortable or as confident in their ability, but I could have this over and done with.

    How do I switch? Would you switch or sweat it out? I am having trouble sleeping, eating, worried about lawsuits and well just plain scared. Help!!

  • #2
    If a lawsuit is filed, it's not really that big of a deal.

    As far as whether you should change attorneys.....that's not an easy call. I seriously doubt you'd get a refund.

    Is your BK complicated in any way? For an uncomplicated no asset 7, perhaps the less expensive legal plan would be ok. Still, it's a roll of the dice.
    Chapter 7, above median, no asset. Discharged with no UST involvement.


    • #3
      Hi, research "Google Voice" here and then set it up! It will be your saving grace until you file, the calls will be in one nice neat place and you only have to listen to them if you want to. Have you have stopped making payments on ALL of your unsecured creditors? If you have then that should have freed up enough money to pay attorney? If you have stopped all payments and still do not have enough money to live on and start a fresh life after bankruptcy then you probably have more planning to do.

      You may need a plan to bring more income into your house in order to get that fresh start if you are still having problems. Good Luck!


      • #4
        I forgot to add that your attorney choice can make or break your case. Do not base it all on how much they cost or it will ultimately cost you much more than money in the end, do your due diligence and make an informed decision. Your attorney will be one of the most important choices you will make during this process!


        • #5
          I have a legal plan with attorneys who can do the bankruptcy now, for a minimal fee, but they are all well...let's just say I am not comfortable or as confident in their ability, but
          You have answered your own question. You use the attny you are most comfortable and confident in even if it means a short delay (a few months is a short delay) and costs a few extra dollars. Further, I have little faith in the so called "pre paid legal plan" as the attnys who sign onto such plans typically have little experience or are part of "mills" and if there is anything out of the ordinary in a case, have no clue how to handle.



          • #6
            Talk to my sister. She used her company-provided legal plan attorney, and her seemingly simple Ch 7 bankruptcy is now about to enter its fourth year without closure.

            Get a good attorney. Good attorneys cost good money, and they are worth every cent.

            A good attorney will not file until the time is right, even if that means you have to field a few phone calls in the meantime. Or don't field them - that's your choice.


            • #7
              i took two years to pay my atty. the creditors have a right to call you even if your atty writes them a c and d until you have an actual docket number. this is not complicated. good attys do not cost a lot of money, there are many that are reasonable and even do pro bono work.

              you file when it's right for you not the atty. we waited two years for a reason.
              8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


              • #8
                Originally posted by starr004 View Post
                I am getting calls daily from creditors, and I am afraid of what will happen until I actually file. I have referred the calls to my attorney and they just say "we will call until the case is filed"...I am having trouble sleeping, eating, worried about lawsuits and well just plain scared...
                It sounds like your creditors are violating the law, and you and/or your attorney need to call them out on it. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, once you have retained an attorney, collection agencies must deal with the attorney rather than contact you. Original creditors (i.e. banks and finance companies) are exempt from the FDCPA, but most will honor a request to cease contacting you, especially if you have retained an attorney. You should send all of your creditors a letter--Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested--saying that you have retained an attorney, here is the contact info of the attorney, please direct all further contact to the attorney, please don't call me again. The calls should stop.

                Also, with regard to lawsuits, don't even sweat it. If you are planning to file for bankruptcy protection, any lawsuits will be stopped in their tracks. Even if a judgment is granted, bankruptcy eliminates it with one caveat: if you own a home, then the judgment becomes a lien and additional work is required to remove the judgment lien in bankruptcy. If you rent, then don't even worry about the (remote) possibility that your creditors will sue.


                • #9
                  It took me over 6 months to pay off my attorney. During that time I had one lawsuit develop from Captial One, 2 threats from legal firms hired by credit card companies, constant phone calls & letters. While making payments I kept the attorney up to date and they said not to worry, we'll just include it in the BK. I was extremely nervous and constantly bringing the lawsuit up throughout the whole process. I now have court papers saying the lawsuit was included and discharged with the BK. My BK has been done for 2 months and I have random questions keep popping up regarding my house. My attorney is still quickly responding to my emails and even had a meeting with me about what to do regarding foreclosure. All at no extra cost. It is really worth prolonging the process to have an attorney you feel comfortable with. Mine answered calls/emails quickly and never seemed to get sick of my endless questions (although I sure they did). She also moved swiftly through the BK process with no issues. The calls will slow down then stop after you file. Just don't answer the phone until you've paid the attorney off.


                  • #10
                    I paid my atty up front before the filing, but in a series of installments. In the meantime, anytime I got a call from one of my creditors, I told them I was filing Ch 13 BK and gave them the atty's name address and phone number. Most of my creditors never contacted me again. That period, from signing an atty/client agreement until filing the petition was about two months.
                    Filed Ch 13 Fall 2013, 60 month plan


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