Choosing a Tennessee bankruptcy attorney is an important matter

Making the decision to file bankruptcy is never easy. Filing bankruptcy is a big step, which people should not make without due consideration of all their options. However, once people decide that bankruptcy is the solution to overwhelming debt problems, they encounter another decision they need to make: which attorney to hire to help them through the process. People should give the choice of bankruptcy attorney as much care as the initial decision to file bankruptcy. People can increase their chances of hiring an effective Tennessee bankruptcy lawyer if they look for a few key characteristics in their attorneys.

Comprehensive advice

Credible bankruptcy attorneys will not just advocate that people file bankruptcy. Instead an attorney should assess each person's individual circumstances and offer advice about all debt relief options available. Some people who are judgment-proof, meaning they have no assets that creditors can take, may not need to file bankruptcy. Others may benefit more from a creditor repayment plan without formally needing to file bankruptcy.

Knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyers will understand that bankruptcy is not a one-size-fits-all matter, and the lawyer will inform clients about the different types of bankruptcy available.

Good relationship

People should feel comfortable with their bankruptcy attorneys. Many people initially feel ashamed about the need to file bankruptcy, even though a lot of people file bankruptcy as a result of crises in their lives such as unexpected job loss or illness. Even those without financial difficulties may feel that discussing financial matters is difficult with strangers. As such, people need to find bankruptcy attorneys that put them at ease and who listen and communicate well.

Appropriate credentials

One of the most critical things that should factor into people's decision-making processes when choosing a bankruptcy attorney is that the attorney should have the credentials demonstrating expertise. A good place to begin looking for a bankruptcy attorney is through the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. The attorneys of the NACBA have demonstrated that they are dedicated to and passionate about helping consumers navigate the bankruptcy process.

Another qualification people should look for in a bankruptcy lawyer is board certification. Many states, including Tennessee, have state board certification requirements for bankruptcy attorneys. Board certification in Tennessee shows that an attorney has:

  • Passed a day-long exam on bankruptcy law and legal ethics
  • Provided professional references
  • Completed at least 60 hours of bankruptcy specific continuing legal education in the three years preceding certification
  • Proven continuing competence by getting recertified every five years, in accordance with state requirements
  • Dedicated a significant portion of his or her practice to bankruptcy matters
  • Demonstrated experience in legal matters

Board certification helps ensure that an attorney has the skills and experience necessary to effectively deal with any problems that should arise. If you are considering bankruptcy, seek the assistance of a board certified Tennessee bankruptcy attorney who can help you get a fresh financial start.