If you've made the decision that you have to close your business and file bankruptcy, you need to hire a good business bankruptcy lawyer. You may need a business bankruptcy lawyer to help you make that decision. Here are some steps to take to help you choose the best bankruptcy lawyer to help you through the bankruptcy process.
Choose a Certified Bankruptcy Lawyer
It is important to choose a qualified bankruptcy lawyer to consult with and, if necessary, to file your bankruptcy suit. Since this bankruptcy proceeding will be for your small business, choose a certified business bankruptcy lawyer. They have had special training in business bankruptcy and are best able to help you. Business bankruptcy lawyers in your state have also had extensive experience with your own state's bankruptcy laws. Check with the American Board of Certification which is the premier legal certification agency for bankruptcy lawyers.
Call your Local Bar Association
Your local bar association cannot make recommendations about which attorney to hire. What they can do is give you a listing of all the bankruptcy lawyers in your local area that can help you. After getting a list of names and phone numbers from your local bar association, you can go back and check with the previously-mentioned American Board of Certification on their credentials.
Do an Internet Search of Professional Directories
The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory includes professional biographies of most lawyers, including bankruptcy lawyers, in the United States. Take a look at the biographies for the bankruptcy lawyers you've found in your area as you are engaged in the screening process.
Talk to Local People in Your Network
Since you are a business owner, you probably have an accountant and a personal attorney. Talk to both for recommendations for a bankruptcy lawyer. Also, spend some time talking to friends and acquaintances. Word of mouth is often a good way to find a good business bankruptcy lawyer if you've had colleagues that have had to go through a business bankruptcy.
Interview at least two Bankruptcy Lawyers
At this point, you should be ready to narrow your choice to two or three possible business bankruptcy attorneys. Schedule telephone or personal interview with your candidates for a business bankruptcy lawyer. Get your interview questions together and you're on your way to hiring the best bankruptcy lawyer for you. Maybe you can do a financial workout instead!
Don't Shop for a Bankruptcy Lawyer Based on Fees
You aren't looking for a cheap lawyer, you are looking for the best and most competent bankruptcy lawyer. Most business bankruptcy lawyers charge fees within a particular range. Get price quotes from the bankruptcy lawyers you find yourself comfortable with. It is very important that you do not shop for a lawyer based on cost. If you pay a little more, remember that you get what you pay for.
Signing a Retainer Agreement
When you finally choose your bankruptcy lawyer, they will present you with the retainer agreement. Read the retainer agreement! Do not just sign it. Look at what you are getting for your money. Will your bankruptcy lawyer represent you in all bankruptcy proceedings? How is your payment plan set up? When and how will your bankruptcy case be filed?