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Bankruptcy can mean a new beginning for Americans that are overwhelmed with medical bills, face foreclosure on their home or are buried in credit card debt. Some financial situations are no one's fault. People get sick or lose their jobs. Sometimes bills just accumulate over time until they are insurmountable. Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start.

How to find a bankruptcy attorney

Whether you decide to file Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (reorganization) bankruptcy, you need to find a bankruptcy attorney to help you file. Today's bankruptcy laws are complicated and it's virtually impossible to complete the paperwork correctly without the assistance of an attorney. File the forms wrong and your case will be delayed or even thrown out of court completely. How do you go about finding a good bankruptcy attorney? Below are a few tips:

1. Look for a bankruptcy specialist. Bankruptcy is a complicated area of the law. This is especially true after the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act added additional paperwork for each filing. A law practice and an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy cases is more likely to know the ins and outs of such cases and be better able to advise you.

2. Interview. Most lawyers will give you a free, 30-minute consultation so that you can see if they are a good fit for you and your situation. Take the time to talk with two or three lawyers before making your selection. Bring a list of questions and ask he or her for the name and number of a past client you can call as a reference.

3. Check the lawyer's online brand. Most lawyers today have a Web site and some sort of professional profiles online. Read your candidates' Web sites. How they present themselves online can tell you a lot about how they will present themselves to the court. Google their name and see what you find. If their Facebook posts are a little ill-advised, you might want to think twice about hiring them. Be cautious of hiring a lawyer who has no online presence. Today's bankruptcy cases require that lawyers keep up with the latest rules. Someone who has yet to embrace technology may have trouble doing that.

4. Check with the state Bar Association. Most state Bar Associations offer a referral service via their Web sites. Since the Bar Association also reviews ethics complaints against lawyers, some sites also list whether a particular lawyer has had any such complaints filed against him or her while a member of the that state's Bar.

5. Check with the regional bankruptcy court. Many bankruptcy courts will provide an unbiased listing of bankruptcy lawyers and their contact information that practice in their district.

Don't go it alone when you decide to file for bankruptcy. A skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the complicated procedures and act as your advocate through the entire process. Your financial future is too important to leave to chance.

Find Your Bankruptcy Attorney In Your Local Area Today.