If you are facing financial challenges and cannot seem to get out from under your debts, you may be considering bankruptcy. There are many emotions people experience when deciding to take this step, especially as the bankruptcy process is likely unfamiliar to them. While you have the right to file bankruptcy without an attorney, you may find that having an experienced professional walking with you and providing guidance eases your mind and gives you more confidence in the outcome. But who can you trust? In this article, we will discuss some tangible ways to choose the right Sarasota bankruptcy attorney for your needs.
best Sarasota bankruptcy attorney

Choosing the Best Sarasota Bankruptcy Attorney for You

  1. Begin with Professional Directories: The Florida Bar Association and The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Remember, the best Sarasota attorney is not necessarily the one with the most billboards or radio ads. The NACBA directory exclusively lists bankruptcy attorneys. Like any membership group, however, inclusion does not necessarily equate with experience or expertise. But they may provide a good starting point.
  2. Seek Advice from Trustworthy Sources: If you don’t have any idea where to start, you may have a friend or family member who has a recommendation. Online reviews are also a valuable source of information. While rogue reviews are always a possibility, reading a number of reviews for a firm should provide a valid sense of client experience. The more reviews, the more likely the firm is well-established and has solid experience, with reviews you can trust.
  3. Contact Several Qualified Attorneys: If friends or family have a recommendation for you, that is a great place to start. If you have no one in mind, use directories or review sites to narrow the field down to two or three firms or individuals that are qualified. Arrange an initial consultation with each one. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, and these meetings provide valuable information you need for your decision: Does the attorney have relevant expertise and success? Do their fees seem fair and in line with the field? Do you feel comfortable with this person?
  4. Review Experience and Expertise: Successfully navigating the bankruptcy process requires specialized expertise and practical experience. A single erroneous form or missed deadline could result in the case being dismissed. That is why it is in your best interest to find the best Sarasota bankruptcy attorney for you, not just anyone with a law license. Ask the attorney specifically about their expertise in personal bankruptcy law, including how many Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies they’ve handled. A reputable bankruptcy attorney will also entertain questions about potential alternatives to filing.
  5. Assess Communication Skills and Compatibility: Before you hire any attorney, ask yourself if you feel comfortable talking with them about personal matters. If you are uncomfortable with disclosing information to your attorney, it could harm or even end your case. Therefore, the best Sarasota bankruptcy attorney is one who is not only qualified and experienced, but that you can effectively communicate with and trust. The relationship between attorney and client is not a friendship, but it does require that you work well together toward the common goal – the best possible outcome of your case. The process may include difficult conversations, so a commitment to open communication is vital.

Finally, understand that some large firms may not be able to offer the relationship you are looking for – be sure to ask if the individual who meets with you will actually be handling your case. Be cautious of “bankruptcy mills,” firms that have so many cases that yours may not receive the attention it deserves.

Richard V. Ellis and his team have been helping Sarasota residents navigate the bankruptcy process for over forty years. We are committed to each client’s success and have a proven track record to back up our dedication.

We invite you to call today to discuss your options.