If you have searched for a bankruptcy attorney, you may have found or heard of one or more attorneys from various sources. Perhaps you heard a radio commercial, jotted down a phone number, and called to schedule an office consultation. Or, you may have seen a bankruptcy law firm’s commercial on your television set and jotted down the website. Whatever the means by which you found one or more attorneys, your next task is to select the attorney who is most qualified to help you get out of debt and get a fresh financial start.
The Most Qualified Attorneys Helping San Diego Get Out of Debt
In selecting the most qualified attorneys in San Diego to help you get out of debt, you'll want to consider several factors. You'll want an attorney whose practice is limited to bankruptcy law. You'll also want an attorney who exclusively practices within your county, so that he or she will be experienced with the local attitudes of judges and trustees. Another important factor is to select an attorney whose office is near the courthouse where your case will be heard and decided. Such a location demonstrates a commitment to handling your case as efficiently as possible, resulting in better service and lower attorney fee rates. Finally, make sure that when you call the bankruptcy law firm, you can speak with an attorney. The treatment you receive when you first call is a good indication of what you can come to expect from the firm.
Practice Limited to Bankruptcy Law
Often you may find an attorney on the internet and go to their website, only to discover that in addition to bankruptcy law they practice DUI law, personal injury, immigration, business litigation, and generally any type of legal matter that comes in their door.
It goes without saying that such an attorney will not possibly be able to display the same level of expertise, skill and efficiency in bankruptcy law and practice as a law firm whose practice is exclusively limited to bankruptcy law.
In this respect, hiring an attorney is akin to hiring a doctor. If you need to get rid of an aching tooth that is causing you pain, you would go to see a “Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.),” more commonly called a “dentist.” You wouldn’t go to a family doctor who practices in general medicine, right?
Similarly, if you need to get out of debt and eliminate your credit card debt and other unwanted debt, you need to go to a San Diego bankruptcy attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law and debt relief. You don’t want to go to a general practice attorney that handles any type of matter comes in his or her door.
Attorney Exclusively Practices In Your County
The next thing to do is to narrow down the pool of attorney candidates to those who practice exclusively in your County. For example, if you live in San Diego and need to eliminate your debts and start with a clean slate, you wouldn’t want to hire an attorney who files bankruptcies in multiple counties, from Los Angeles County, to Riverside County, to San Diego County.
Filing bankruptcy successfully in the San Diego County bankruptcy court requires not just technical knowledge of the bankruptcy laws and rules, but also a familiarity with the local attitudes and practices of the courts and trustees in San Diego County. There is no substitute for extensive experience appearing before the judges and trustees who will be hearing your case. You want a local lawyer.
Having personally spoken to attorneys in Los Angeles County and Riverside County, to whom I refer clients who live in those counties (I do not handle bankruptcies outside of San Diego County), I know that the attitudes and practices of the bankruptcy courts and trustees in these other counties can differ significantly from the local practice in San Diego County.
So if you need to get debt relief in San Diego, start by narrowing down your pool of candidates to bankruptcy attorneys who serve only the greater San Diego area. Find a local attorney who will be more familiar with local court personnel and practices for the best results.
Location Near Bankruptcy Courthouse
A great way to quickly ascertain the dedication and commitment of your bankruptcy attorney to making sure that your filing proceeds as smoothly as possible through the entire legal process, is to find out how close the firm is to the courthouse and location of the trustee hearings (which in San Diego are two blocks away from the courthouse).
Just as you would expect the most dedicated and committed criminal defense attorneys to be right next to the criminal courthouse (so that they can go and visit their clients on a moment's notice), the most dedicated and committed bankruptcy attorneys are located right next to the bankruptcy courthouse, so that they can quickly and efficiently make appearances before the bankruptcy court and in trustee hearings.
For example, Bankruptcy Legal Center, a firm whose sole mission is to help San Diego get out of debt and get a fresh start, is located just two blocks from the San Diego bankruptcy courthouse and the trustee hearings. This critical location, which carries a significant cost (location, location, location), is a sign of the dedication of the firm, to go that extra step, to ensure that the firm can help you wipe out your debts as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Make Sure You Talk to An Attorney
Perhaps the most telling sign of what you can come to expect from a bankruptcy law firm is whether you can speak with a San Diego bankruptcy attorney when you first call the firm. As a new client, the firm and bankruptcy attorney would naturally be putting their best foot forward. This is human nature.
If you call, as a new client, and you feel resistance when asking to speak to an attorney, or the firm has a policy that it will not let you speak to an attorney until you are pre-qualified by a sales associate (or legal assistant), then that is a telltale sign of what you can expect once you have hired the firm. Expecting anything less would be foolish, right? An attorney who really cares to help you will be approachable and speak to you personally during your initial call. You deserve nothing less.
So, in selecting your attorney to help you get out of debt and get a fresh start, try this simple, reliable test. Call the firm and ask to speak to an attorney. Get a true glimpse of what you can expect to encounter once you hire the firm.