Any attorney can provide a wide range of legal services to anyone. This doesn’t mean that every attorney is specialized to do so where you need it most. The majority of lawyers and law firms specialize in a just a few areas of law. A patient wouldn’t go to a dentist to have heart surgery so why should an individual in financial trouble go to an attorney who doesn’t specialize in the bankruptcy and financial services? Unfortunately, the majority of individuals and families aren’t proactive when retaining the services of an attorney and just end up selecting an attorney at random when calls and harassment from collection agencies become too much and foreclosure is imminent.
With our economy in shambles, satisfied bankruptcy clients are easy to find for good word of mouth reference. Much like finding a doctor, be proactive when selecting an attorney. Begin looking for an attorney before you absolutely need one. It is important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney several months before actually declaring bankruptcy. Generally, attorneys offer free consultations for almost every situation. This free consultation is for preparing your game plan so that the majority of possessions and property may be kept. Even some credit cards may be retained to help in rebuilding credit worthiness after bankruptcy has been declared. The only initial cost of a free consultation is a little personal time.
Once a lawyer or law firm has been found that meets a client’s initial expectations, inquire as to the other services offered. Many attorneys that handle bankruptcy and other financial matters often handle real estate law, wills, and family law as well as estate and financial planning. Some may even be a C.P.A. (Certified Public Accountant) and offer auditing, income tax preparation, and other financial services. All of these specialties tie in together when declaring bankruptcy.
It is often most convenient for a “one stop shop” approach for the majority of an individual’s or family’s legal needs. At the very least, every individual or family should speak with an attorney that they are comfortable with and carry their business card in their wallet. It will come in handy if or when it comes time to take the next step. Think of it as just a little extra insurance. One may never need it, but it is nice to know one has it.