Why You Should Use a Local Bankruptcy Attorney
There are a number of law firms advertising themselves as “national bankruptcy firms” or “online bankruptcy firms.” Potential clients might think a “national brand” implies a certain quality of representation.
What potential clients might not realize is these “national” firms are often not hands-on in representing the clients. They often have paralegals doing most of the work, and refer hearings to inexperienced attorneys. Many of these firms do not meet personally with the clients they represent.
Perhaps worst of all, the “national” firms usually charge the maximum allowed attorney’s fees for a particular jurisdiction.
Clients can usually get much better service and a much better deal on attorney’s fees by working directly with a local bankruptcy attorney.
Below are some additional reasons you should consider using a local attorney if you are filing bankruptcy.
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Local Attorneys Offer Lower Fees, Fee Discounts, and Payment Plans
Local attorneys often charge lower fees, offer periodic fee discounts, and offer payment plans tailored to a client’s situation.
The local attorney’s fees can sometimes be much lower than those of a “national” law firm. (For more information about our fees, discounts, and payment plans, click here.)
A Local Attorney Will Know Your Bankruptcy Trustee’s Requirements
About 30 days after you file bankruptcy, you will meet with a court official called a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is the person who evaluates your filing and assists the bankruptcy court in determining whether you are eligible for bankruptcy relief.
If you use a local attorney to file bankruptcy, your attorney will know your bankruptcy trustee. Your local attorney will be able to prepare you for your trustee’s particular questions (they aren’t all the same) and will be familiar with your particular trustee’s document requirements (again, each trustee has his or her own requirements.)
These are areas where you really need an experienced attorney familiar with local customs. If your attorney isn’t aware of the local customs, your case is likely to take longer and possibly require additional hearings and document requests that could have been avoided if the correct information been submitted to the trustee in the first place.
Personal Attention at Your Trustee Hearing / Meeting of Creditors
If you use an out-of-town law firm, the firm will probably send an “appearance attorney” to cover your Meeting of Creditors and / or other case hearings. You will meet the appearance attorney for the first time at your hearing. The appearance attorney might not know the trustees.
This is unfortunate because most people are a little anxious before their bankruptcy hearings. It is important for them to have a familiar, friendly face representing them.
Your Attorney Might Need to Object or Correct the Record At Your Meeting of Creditors
Your local attorney will know your case inside out. An appearance attorney likely will not because he or she will not have access to your full bankruptcy file.
Things can happen at a hearing. Your attorney might need to object, correct the record, or take some other action on the spot. This is especially true if a creditor attempts to examine you. Appearance attorneys might not know the case well enough to object or correct the record during hearings.
Your Convenience and The Importance of Meeting in Person
The national law firms usually require you to (1) communicate via phone and email and (2) submit all supporting documents via email or mail.
This can get burdensome for the client. Additionally, the bankruptcy code requires attorneys to meet clients in person in certain situations. It is doubtful that out-of-town law firms satisfy this requirement by meeting with clients over the phone.
At our office, we meet with you in person– in fact, the first consultation is free. You are welcome to bring your documents and drop them off at your very first meeting. We value your time and convenience.
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In addition to those listed above, there are many other advantages to using a local bankruptcy attorney. Give us a call if you would like to discuss these advantages. We offer a free consultation, payment plans, attorney discounts, and Saturday appointments.
You can also make an appointment for a free consultation online using the links below: