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How To Choose Your Bankruptcy Attorney
I’m Showing You How To Do It Right, Because I Think You Will Choose Me After Carefull Consideration Of All The Facts
The yellow pages and the internet are the usual starting point for finding an attorney. Referrals from your family attorney, family or friends can be useful, especially if they have had a good experience with their bankruptcy attorney.

Interview at least three attorneys specializing in bankruptcy at the attorney’s office at a convenient location (it is very inconvenient to hire an attorney in Denver, if you live and work in Boulder, Larimer or Weld counties). Make sure you interview with the attorney and not with a low paid assistant. Most bankruptcy attorneys will give you a free initial consultation.
If an attorney refuses to consult with you without charging a fee; keep looking. Limit your search to attorneys who offer a free consultation. 

Some attorneys don’t have offices and work out of their homes. If they do house visits or if they meet you at McDonald’s, it is because they don’t have an office and work out their home. This is definitely a sign of an inexperienced attorney or they might not even be an attorney. You must interview your attorney and make the attorney earn your case. 

Does the attorney specialize in bankruptcy? That means that he or she does nothing else but bankruptcy. 

Can the attorney answer your questions? You should feel relieved after the interview, so if you feel friction with the attorney and there is no chemistry, go to the next interview. Comfort matters: if after the consultation you don’t feel comfortable with the attorney, follow your instincts and keep looking. If the attorney can’t explain something to you in plain language, that you understand, then that attorney probably doesn't’t know what he/she is talking about or is trying to scare you.

Some bankruptcy attorneys are using scare tactics to get you to immediately retain them and leave you feeling scared to death. I would advise shopping around. At the other end of the spectrum there are attorneys that don’t tell you about any potential pitfalls you may encounter in your bankruptcy. Almost all bankruptcies have some risks. Make sure that your attorney advises you of these risks.


1) Bankruptcy Experience And Knowledge Is The Most Important Factor.
Find an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy and does so full time. 
Ask the attorney how many cases has he or she successfully filed and what year did they file their first bankruptcy case. WARNING: Some attorneys will advertise they have 25 years experience, but have only been doing bankruptcies for a couple years. This is misleading to say the least. I repeat you should ask them how many cases have they successfully filed. MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: Make sure you choose a bankruptcy attorney who has been actively practicing bankruptcy full time for at least 10 years and has filed at least 1000 cases. 
"I have 27 years bankruptcy experience. I filed my first bankruptcy case in 1983 and have filed thousands of cases since 1983. I limit my practice to Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is my only business. 

2. REPUTATION is the second most important factor. 
Unfortunately, the best sources for information about a bankruptcy attorney’s reputation is information from other bankruptcy attorneys or from the bankruptcy Court. Since bankruptcy attorneys are in competition for your business, you are not likely to get valuable information from this source and most bankruptcy attorneys do not want you to comparison shop. The next best referral source is from former clients. Ask the attorney for reviews, testimonials or recommendations from former clients. You can also ask family, friends, colleagues who have filed for bankruptcy and had a good experience for a referral.
You can check whether an attorney is licensed and in active status, and whether or not they have had their license revoked or disciplined in any way. Go to Supreme Court Attorney Search and type in the name of the attorney. Then click on the name of the attorney. Then click on “Disciplinary History” on the bottom right side of screen. Also make sure to check whether or not the attorney has malpractice insurance on the above website. All responsible attorneys have malpractice insurance. If the attorney doesn't’t have malpractice insurance it might mean the attorney is uninsurable due to numerous past malpractice claims. You can also go to www.avvo.com for lawyer ratings. AVVO will show also whether or not the attorney has a disciplinary history.
"I am well respected by the Bankruptcy Court, my peers and former clients. You can check reviews by my former clients by googling the “insiderpages.com”. I do have malpractice insurance (I have never had to use it) and am in active status with the State of Colorado with no disciplinary history. You can also go to "www.avvo.com - My Rating" for my lawyer rating. AVVO also will show whether or not an attorney has a disciplinary history."

3) QUALITY OF REPRESENTATION (third most important factor)
Many attorney’s leave the majority of the work to be done by low paid paralegals or assistants. Make sure you ask the attorney how much time the attorney will actually spend with you (one on one) in the preparation of your bankruptcy documents.
"I have no paralegals or assistants. I have a solo practice and even answer my own phone. I have used assistants and paralegals in the past and was uncomfortable having other people do my work for me and I was always worried whether or not things were done right.

4)ATTORNEY FEES are the FOURTH most important factor. 
For those of you who only shop price. Think again. I am aware of at least a dozen cases of debtors using cheap non-attorney typing services at about $399 per case (or less) that end up costing the consumer thousands more because of the lack of competent legal advice. I’ve sued several of those bankruptcy petition preparers. It is hard, if not impossible, for me to fix a case once it is botched. I AM AWARE THAT MONEY IS TIGHT for you, and again, for those of you that shop price, I believe I am the best bang for your buck bankruptcy attorney in Colorado. Since the late 1980’s, I found ways to lower my prices across the board and especially for the easier bankruptcies. It is the rare attorney that looks for ways to lower his fees and actually does so, I am the only one I am aware of, while most attorneys are doing the opposite and trying to raise their fees.
"PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE (half down & other half beforE filing)"
Chapter 7 : $1500 for chapter 7 bankruptcy ($1201 attorney fees and $299 filing fees) is the average fee being charged by the more experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys. Less experienced bankruptcy counsel should presumably charge less, but often are not. Most experienced, as well as inexperienced, bankruptcy attorneys do not charge below $1500, even for the simplest of cases. Ask the attorney for a price quote and whether it is based on a fixed fee or hourly rate. Ask the attorney what his or her hourly fee is. Ask the attorney what fixed fee means? No attorney has a totally fixed fee agreement. The fixed fee is limited to no-asset bankruptcies without problems. If the case has problems or litigation or becomes an asset case, you will be billed at the attorney’s hourly rate for this extra work. Plus, in every bankruptcy you will also incur $25 to $100 in credit counseling fees.
"I have free initial consultations, either by phone or in office (except for complex cases and second opinions). I charge $800 to $1200 attorney fees (plus the $299 filing fee) for the average no-asset uncontested chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy. For the easier bankruptcies my fees start at $599 attorneys fees, plus the $299 filing fee ($898 in total). I file easy consumer as well as complex business cases. A business case can easily cost in excess of $2500. Call for free price quote!"
Chapter 13:
Chapter 13 bankruptcies on average start at $3300 attorney fees (plus the $274 filing fee). Once again this fee is predicated on the case going smoothly. Most chapter 13’s have problems or objections and often the attorney’s fees will exceed $4000. If an attorney quotes you $1500 for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, it usually means that they will charge you $1500 down with the remaining $2074 to be paid through the plan, as well as additional attorney fees if the case runs into trouble. Since the chapter 13 attorney’s fees are about the same with all attorneys, the right question to ask is what is your projected total fee and how much of a down payment is required to get the case filed.


Find out what organizations the attorney belongs to. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) is the only national trade organization specifically designed for consumer debtor’s attorneys in the United States of America. A consumer bankruptcy attorney who is a member of NACBA shows a commitment to providing the very best in bankruptcy services to the general public.
Check the following website for membership information. NACBA.ORG Attorney Finder
The American Bankruptcy Institute is the largest trade organization for creditor attorneys. Check the following website for membership information. Supreme Court Disciplinary Search American Bankruptcy Institute
"I am a member of NACBA and attend their national conventions each year for continuing legal education to keep me on top of all the new developments in bankruptcy law.

Free Legal Questions

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