Do I Need A Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer If I Live In Cook County?

You are not required to use a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer if you live in cook County and wish to file for bankruptcy relief. Much more important than where the attorney is located, is what type of qualifications does the attorney have to handle your case. You might find a bankruptcy attorney within six blocks of where you live. You may later realize that the person is not the right attorney to handle your particular matter. Bankruptcy law has become quite complex since the law was amended in 2005. For that reason, the location of the bankruptcy attorney is not nearly as important as the qualifications of the bankruptcy attorney.

 Cook County Is Larger Than Chicago

As you probably know, Cook County, Illinois encompasses more than just the city of Chicago. Cook County encompasses numerous suburban locations that surround the city of Chicago moving outward from the city. There are literally dozens of bankruptcy attorneys who have locations in the Cook County suburbs as well as in the city of Chicago. If you do your homework and meet with a few attorneys face to face, you will get a real good indication as to whether or not that attorney is going to be right for you. For example, did the attorney that you met with demonstrate to you the ability and the confidence to resolve your financial situation? Did the attorney appear to have the requisite experience necessary to take you from point A to point B? Lastly, did the attorney exude confidence in financial matters to the point where you left the office feeling that your bankruptcy case was going to be handled properly?

 Do Your Research

You also have the ability to invest time researching different bankruptcy attorneys online. If you do a Google search, you are going to find a series of bankruptcy attorneys in Chicago and in suburban Cook County. Make sure you take the time to check out the information contained on the attorney’s website. Don’t simply look at the address and hours of operation to determine whether or not that person is qualified to handle your case. Many times I get calls from people who are currently in a chapter 13 with an attorney who is not responsive. Unfortunately, I can’t always substitute in on another person’s bankruptcy case. It’s always best to get the case started properly. With some of those callers, I have to simply advise them that the case should really dismiss and then look to re-file through my office.

 Expertise Is Paramount

More important than location is experience, expertise, and ability. Make sure that the attorney that you hire has published information about the topic. Make sure the attorney that you hire is experienced and can show you prior clients that he or she has helped. Check out the attorney’s background to make sure that there are no complaints with the a ARDC. Ask the attorney if he or she is part of any bankruptcy organizations such as the American bankruptcy Institute (ABI) or the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). You will often find that the more involved the bankruptcy attorney is in these types of organizations, the better equipped that attorney is to handle your case. Lastly, you want to make sure that your personalities match or at a minimum, that you can get along. You are going to be involved with that attorney for several months. Thus, you want to make sure that the communication lines are open and that you feel comfortable with that person. If at any time you do not feel comfortable, you need to let the attorney know. If the issue cannot be resolved between the two of you, you certainly have the ability, hopefully prior to the case being filed to hire new counsel.

Summary: Do You Need A Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer?

So the take away or lesson from this blog post is simple: do not hire a bankruptcy attorney solely based on location. If you live in cook County, you are not mandated to use a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer. In fact, you can use a bankruptcy lawyer that is located outside of Cook County. Many bankruptcy attorneys in the Chicago area practice in multiple counties surrounding Chicago. For this reason, you may never have to go downtown to hire a bankruptcy lawyer.

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