Bankruptcy Lawyer San Diego : The Free Consultation
What should you expect ?
Bankruptcy lawyer Paul Staley offers a free consultation. Lots of bankruptcy lawyers in San Diego offer free consultations, so what makes his any different? Below, Paul talks about what each potential bankruptcy client should expect – or, at least, have a RIGHT to expect in his / her consultation with a Bankruptcy Lawyer in San Diego offering a free consultation.
Firstly, the obvious: it should be free. That’s a threshold most lawyers will live up to, i.e. they’re not going to ask for a fee before your leave.
However, the highest-pressure “ Law Shops” depend on quick processing of many simple bankruptcy cases in order optimize profitability. Everything from the first phone call onward can feel like intense pressure to hire. It creates an atmosphere one used to expect when dealing with a used car dealer. I know I have had some clients tell me they have been to firms that actually conduct the initial meeting jointly – in a group setting! This makes many uneasy, as it should.
When someone makes an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer in San Diego for a free consultation, Paul believes the client should expect to meet with an attorney. After all, if the meeting isn’t with a bankruptcy lawyer, it really shouldn’t be called a “consultation”, he reasons. And yet countless bankruptcy lawyers in San Diego schedule free consultations only with lower level support staff, perhaps a legal assistant or more generously with a paralegal. While this practice is not considered unethical or illegal, Paul believes clients deserve better.
The time allocated by a bankruptcy lawyer in San Diego for a free consultation ought to be generous enough for the attorney to thoroughly go through the clients’ income and expenses, major assets and debts and produce a fairly comprehensive “Means Test.” Paul doesn’t ever anticipate he can get through all that in less than an hour. He typically allocates an hour and a half – just in case there are unusual quirks and complexities in the case.
A free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer in San Diego should result in an attorney offering a professional opinion about:
(1) whether the client is a suitable candidate for bankruptcy at all;
(2) which chapter of bankruptcy is most appropriate and, if the client’s situation calls for it
(3) recommendations on non-bankruptcy options.
Each consultation should reveal whether there are peculiar requirements triggered by the hundreds of rules contained in the Bankruptcy Code. A client should expect to learn from the attorney conducting the free consultation whether the client needs to plan around time / deadline-sensitive rules. Here are just a few of very many common issues: How long has the client lived in the district where the case is being filed? How recently has the client incurred new debt? Does the client know of any creditor who is likely to allege he / she / it has/have been the victim of fraud by the client? Does the client own assets which, at first blush at least, he / she would not be allowed to keep if she filed bankruptcy? Of those assets, are there any ways to plan the process to ensure – or at least improve – the client’s ability to keep the asset(s)?
When a client calls a bankruptcy lawyer in San Diego for a free consultation, he or she has a right to expect something much more exhaustive than an exercise in fourth-grade arithmetic performed by a functionary with a questionnaire on a clipboard. Meaningful legal advice can only come from an attorney who knows that even when the math seems simple, it usually isn’t, and that the rules that get applied to all those numbers are many and complex. Paul believes it is his responsibility to process all that information and help the client to understand it like he does – without information overload. Several years’ teaching experience have served him well in this regard.
If you think you are ready to call ,you can call us at 619-235-4095 to set up an appointment to meet with Paul and start leaning about your options
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My Team has been helping people like you and your neighbors with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy since 1994.