How to Choose A Bankruptcy Lawyer in New York
If you live in central Suffolk County and need legal help, you probably have a wider selection of law firms to choose from than people living in almost any other area of the country. So how are you to choose?
One of the key factors in selecting the right lawyer for your legal needs is specialization. Law is becoming an increasingly specialized profession, particularly in localities that host a large number of lawyers.
Specialization is good for legal consumers; it means the availability of skill sets more narrowly tailored to address unique problems in an increasingly complex legal environment. If you are on Long Island or the surrounding area and need help with the bankruptcy process, you may be better served by selecting a law firm that practices exclusively in bankruptcy.
Exclusive practice more likely to have familiarity with process, courtroom players
One of the first important decisions in the bankruptcy process is choosing the right kind of bankruptcy, which is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which debts are generally discharged in a matter of months, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which debts are partially repaid over a three to five year term before the remaining balance is discharged, are the most common types of consumer bankruptcy; Chapter 13 is mainly used to reinstate delinquent mortgages, repay non-dischargeable liabilities like certain tax liabilities and keep non-exempt assets like a boat or a second home.
Other more obscure forms of bankruptcy might be better for some individuals, such as Chapter 11 bankruptcy for high net worth individuals who need debt relief. A more uncommon form of bankruptcy for individuals is Chapter 12, which is limited to family farmers and commercial fisherman and allows the court to completely rewrite a mortgage or secured loan.
There are different qualification requirements for each type of bankruptcy. You may qualify for more than one type, but there is often a distinct advantage to choosing one over another. A Long Island attorney who focuses exclusively on bankruptcy may be best suited to help you select the right type of bankruptcy for your individual needs.
Specialization is also likely to prove valuable when it gets to the nuts and bolts of the case. In a Chapter 7 case, an experienced bankruptcy attorney may be able to help you structure your assets so as to preserve value and utilize every available exemption to the fullest; in a Chapter 13 case, more skilled bankruptcy attorneys may be able to get creditors and the court to accept a Chapter 13 plan that results in a greater proportion of debt being forgiven.
Practicing exclusively in bankruptcy also means that a lawyer is appearing in the same courtrooms in front of the same judges, working with the same colleagues, again and again. Good professional working relationships can help get things moving favorably and quickly in a bankruptcy case.
Get in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer to address your debt problems
Imagine going to the doctor for a skin problem; would you rather see a general practitioner, or a dermatologist? The same logic applies to selecting a lawyer. If you are struggling with debt, bankruptcy could present the solutions you have been looking for, and an attorney practicing exclusively in bankruptcy could help you make them a reality. Take the first step toward getting out of debt today: contact a Suffolk County bankruptcy lawyer.