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Tips for choosing your bankruptcy lawyer

So, you have made the decision to file for personal bankruptcy. You know there are a lot of bankruptcy attorneys out there, but you might feel uncertain about the process of finding a qualified lawyer. After all, it can be difficult to ask friends and family members about such a touchy subject. Experts weigh in on how to find the best bankruptcy attorney for you in the Washington, D.C., area.

Financial gurus say there are several signals that can indicate your attorney's level of professionalism. Check the membership logs of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Membership in that professional organization indicates the firm has stood up to scrutiny, proving it is dedicated to providing quality bankruptcy law advice. After you have located a local group of members, proceed to check your state bar Web site to make sure the attorneys are properly licensed. In this instance, you are looking for an indicator that would show a specialization or certification in bankruptcy law.

Even though these credentials might not seem important, it is critical to understand that your lawyer may have to come through for you in a pinch. Bankruptcy cases are not always smooth, and a qualified attorney can help you navigate the legal system if something goes wrong.

After you have vetted an initial list of attorneys, be prepared to meet with several to get a feel for their style. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity - not to shop for price - but to determine your comfort level with the lawyer. Be sure to come to these meetings with all relevant forms and information requested from the firm's Web site.

Furthermore, good bankruptcy attorneys may be able to help you avoid bankruptcy altogether. Look for a lawyer who is willing to help you explore alternative solutions to your money woes.

If you are facing financial uncertainty, you do not have to suffer alone. Consider seeking the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney today.

Source:  www.foxbusiness.com, "How to pick a bankruptcy attorney" Erica Sandberg, May. 21, 2013

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