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Choosing a Qualified Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney

Posted on in Bankruptcy

Admitting your debt has spun out of control and realizing you are financially incapable of managing your liabilities can often lead to moments of sheer frustration and uncertainty. It takes a personal leap of faith to place your trust in an experienced bankruptcy attorney, but it may be a necessary step in stabilizing your financial situation.

If you are an Illinois resident considering bankruptcy, take note that every U.S. state requires completion of credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy. The counseling must also occur 180 days before filing, and you will be required to submit your completion certificate to the presiding bankruptcy judge. This action is enacted under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (Public Law-109).

Once credit counseling has been completed, your next step is to contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. Choosing an attorney that will best suit your needs may seem daunting but beginning the process should not prove yet another stressor. It is a step in the right direction.

As per a recent article posted to the Fox News Business Network, there are a few key elements to consider before retaining a qualified attorney to assist with your pursuit toward debt relief and financial solvency.

Do Your Homework

Discuss your situation with close friends or family members. More often than not, you may find trusted confidants may have already filed for bankruptcy and can refer a reputable bankruptcy attorney.

Review the referral to ensure the attorney is a practicing member of the Illinois State Bar Association. Research and review pertinent criteria via the Internet to solidify professional reputation and specific legal practice areas.

Unless you obtain a solid referral, prepare to “interview” more than one attorney. Consider meeting with several through free initial consultations and keep these key points in mind during the process.

The Personality Test

An attorney may have looked great on paper and on the internet, but if you do not connect with an attorney's “bedside manner,” thank him or her for their time and move onto the next attorney on your list.

A Good Listener

Deciding to file bankruptcy is a difficult decision. Locating an attorney who listens and answers your questions may help you rectify your financial difficulties. Furthermore, if you felt comfortable with the conversation, then perhaps they are the bankruptcy professional for you.

A Passion for the Process

If an attorney expresses a lackluster interest in your situation or does not divulge how his or her experience can assist you, proceed no further. You require a legal professional who is not indifferent, distant or has possibly lost the passion for their profession. Remember, you are seeking a professional who will ensure your legal rights are protected as well as reaching a solution to your legal matter.

Discussing Your Options

When meeting with a prospective attorney, alternative options should be discussed. Discussions of filing either Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be evident during the consultation. By doing so, the attorney is exercising their ethical obligation to their profession. Any attorney who does not suggest more than one legal option to alleviate your situation may not be the attorney for you.

Disclosure of Financial Fees

A full disclosure of an attorney's fees should be included in your conversation before the end of your consultation. Only then will you have enough information to make your final decision.

The Final Decision

Following the completion of the interview process, if you believe you have found an attorney who possess a strong combination of experience, character and cost, moving forward with the bankruptcy process with confidence in your choice of legal representation will fortify a trusted professional relationship.

If you are beginning your search for a qualified and ethical Illinois bankruptcy attorney, the experienced Arlington Heights bankruptcy attorneys of Newland & Newland, LLP invite you to contact one of our offices to schedule your free initial consultation today. Since 1993, our experienced attorneys have been professionally serving Illinois clients throughout Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage and Will counties with varying degrees of financial difficulties. During your consultation, we will listen, assess your situation and offer viable solutions to rectify your current financial situation with the prompt attention you deserve.

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