Ten Tips on Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer
there's anything worse than filing for
bankruptcy, it's having to do so and then hiring
the wrong attorney for the job. For many
lawyers, bankruptcy filings have become a volume
business, and debtors facing bankruptcy
sometimes unfortunately obtain inferior legal
services. For this reason, you'll need to do
some research before hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.
Ask lots of questions.
Once you have some candidates in mind, ask them
the following questions (The answers to each of
these questions are critical, so if you get
evasive answers, it's probably a red flag that
this is not the firm for you):
What certifications do you have?
Walter Metzen is one of only 6
Board Certified Bankruptcy Specialists in the
Detroit Area who exclusively represents
Consumers filing Bankruptcy.
How many bankruptcies have you handled?
Mr. Metzen has personally handled over 10,000
Bankruptcy cases in the past 15 years.
How much access will I have to you during my
is available by phone, email and personal office
consultations and will always take your call if
he is not in court.
How will the procedure work?
The idea of hiring a bankruptcy attorney has all
the allure of having teeth pulled. But don't let
this prevent you from beginning your
investigation for a good lawyer as soon as you
know you're going to need one. Waiting until the
last moment won't give a good attorney enough
time to adequately prepare your case.
has same day and walk-in appointments. The
Office is located one-block from the Bankruptcy
Court for fastest service.
Don't hire the cheapest lawyer.
Obviously, in this circumstance you don't have a
lot of cash to spare. But like most things in
life, you get what you pay for. You want a
lawyer who knows the system, and who will do the
best job of representing you. That may end up
costing a little more. Your local bar
association can probably help you determine
whether a proposed fee is fair and in line with
local standards. Anybody who charges too much or
too little probably shouldn't be your lawyer of
Metzen has payment plans to fit any budget.
Seek the advice of other legal professionals.
Ask yourself which business acquaintances you
know, who might in turn know a good bankruptcy
lawyer. If you have a personal attorney, that's
a good place to start. Understand, however, that
bankruptcy law is a specialty. If your lawyer
offers to handle the case as part of your usual
retainer, be certain he knows his way around
bankruptcy court. Many
Lawyers in Michigan refer cases to Mr. Metzen
because of his reputation and expertise.
Spend a day at bankruptcy court.
Observing bankruptcy attorneys in action might
give you an idea of the type of lawyer you want
You will probably see Mr. Metzen as he is in
Bankruptcy Court nearly every week.
Find out if the Attorney is a
Specialist by the American Board of
The only lawyers you'll find on this exclusive
list will be well-respected attorneys who
regularly appear in bankruptcy court and are
Certified Specialists in Consumer Bankruptcy
Metzen has attained this exclusive
Board Certification Specialty in Consumer
Visit law offices.
An office appraisal can give you vital clues as
to how a lawyer would handle your case. Look
around the office and see how well organized it
is. Is it neat, or are there coffee-stained
folders strewn about the floor? You wouldn't go
to a doctor with a dirty examining room; don't
hire a lawyer with a disorganized office.
You are always welcomed to come to my office for
a Free Consultation. Call 313-962-4656 or
Evaluate the responses thoroughly.
For most law firms, Bankruptcy is a volume
business, which means the time you'll actually
spend with a specific attorney might be minimal
compared to what you spend with a clerk or a
paralegal. This is yet another reason to conduct
a thorough interview process, and to carefully
evaluate the responses. Do both the attorney and
the firm have the expertise you need? Do they
appear overworked already?
Mr. Metzen intentionally limits his caseload to
provide the personal attention each case
deserves and you meet directly with the lawyer,
not a paralegal or legal assistant.
Get fee specifics.
Find out exactly what's included in your
lawyer's fees and what isn't.
Mr. Metzen always discusses all fees up front
with clients and provides a written fee
agreement (retainer agreement).
Once you hire a lawyer, don't be content to let
him or her handle it alone. Double-check all
filings. Did any of your creditors get dropped
off the list? Staying on top of your bankruptcy
filing will help ensure that the proceedings go
smoothly and will keep your lawyer on his or her