Arriving at the decision to file for bankruptcy in Wisconsin is usually a long and difficult road. If you’re tired of the harassing calls from bill collectors and feeling the pressure of an impending foreclosure on your home, it’s time to get a bankruptcy lawyer.
Unfortunately, many people filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin make the mistake of choosing an attorney based on an ad they saw on late night TV. Others look for the cheapest bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee.
These are both terrible ideas.
The attorney you choose to handle your bankruptcy filing process can make the difference between a financial comeback and an endless financial fiasco. Even if your situation is feeling more desperate every day, resist the urge to “Just do something now!” Before you make a rash decision on hiring just any Milwaukee bankruptcy lawyer, review these important tips to find out which things to look for in order to hire the best.
This should be pretty obvious, but it bears repeating—with emphasis: Hire an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law.
Bankruptcy cases can range from the fairly straightforward to the migraine-inducing complex. You need an attorney with experience handling both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Besides federal bankruptcy laws, every district court has differing rules and regulations governing bankruptcy. On top of this, there may be additional procedures required by the bankruptcy trustee in your district.
Bankruptcy attorneys usually charge a flat fee, anywhere from $1,000 to $3000 for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
Most bankruptcy attorneys in the Milwaukee area charge about the same amount, so if you come across one whose price is drastically lower than everyone else’s, it’s probably a sign this attorney is either really green or isn’t going to put much effort into your case.
With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, attorney fees rise in proportion to the complexity of the bankruptcy. Most attorneys require you to pay their fee in full before filing your case. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, there are usually limits on what an attorney can charge. Although the total amount charged for a Chapter 13 filing usually isn’t much different from a Chapter 7 filing, the amount you have to pay your Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney upfront does differ. With a Chapter 13 filing, you can usually pay part of your attorney’s fee before the filing and then include the balance in the repayment plan established in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
While it’s understandable to want to know upfront what filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin is going to cost, attorneys cannot quote you a price over the phone. Because every case is unique, it is impossible—even unethical—to just toss out a price over the phone.
All reputable Milwaukee bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you to get a better picture of your situation before quoting a price.
One word of caution: If you go to such a meeting and find yourself across the table from a paralegal instead of an actual bankruptcy attorney, this is a good indication the firm is a “bankruptcy mill”—one which churns out thousands of bankruptcy filings a year with little concern for the best interests of their clients. Run!
Find a Milwaukee Bankruptcy Attorney With Good Communication Skills
Filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin usually involves excruciating detail and piles of paperwork. You’re going to have questions for your attorney. Lots of questions.
Start by asking about their policy on returning phone calls and emails. Don’t be shy—ask how long it usually takes them to return calls/emails. You want someone who will be timely and, ideally, who will respond to you personally. A bankruptcy lawyer who is checking his/her watch constantly is another major warning sign that you're just another number to them and they won't handle your case with the care it deserves.
You should also take into account how well your prospective bankruptcy attorney communicates in person:
You are hiring someone who will be representing you, so you want to come away from your meeting feeling like you have someone who really has your best interest in mind.
Consider also the human-level interaction. If you aren’t comfortable during your initial meeting, trust your instincts and keep looking. You are going to be sharing a lot of personal financial information throughout the bankruptcy filing process, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney you feel comfortable with and confident in.
Our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney has been dutifully serving the needs of people filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin for over 15 years. As an attorney who focuses on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies we are the best choice when it comes to bankruptcy expertise. As a compassionate, ethical and honest bankruptcy attorney we’ve never had a client who hasn’t felt completely comfortable and confident in our hands. When clients come to us it’s very apparent to them that we have their best interests at heart.
Unlike many other Wisconsin bankruptcy law firms, our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney offers FREE consultations for anyone considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
We offer these meetings with no obligation on your part. Take advantage of the opportunity to have an experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney offer insight and expert advice on your specific situation.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.Return to Related News