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If you are one of the millions of Americans struggling with insurmountable debt and financial stability, then you have come to the right place for help. South Atlanta Bankruptcy's attorneys Gina Karrh and H. Brooks Cotten will be using this blog to provide information about bankruptcy. Don't hesitate to call us TODAY!

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Pick Your Lawyer Carefully, Then Trust That Person

Posted by on in General

We frequently receive calls from people who filed their bankruptcy case with another lawyer, and now want to change lawyers. Sometimes its because the first lawyer wont return calls. Sometimes the client just doesnt understand requirements and procedures. Sometimes they have received objections, and believe their case has been thrown out, or will be thrown out, no matter what they do. Sometimes clients suspect that they are not receiving the best deal possible.

To be successful, bankruptcies require that the paperwork be done accurately. Each case is different, and one size definitely does not fit all. The lawyer needs documentation (paystubs, tax returns, bills, letters, etc.) to fill out the forms at the beginning and on an ongoing basis so that the Trustee or creditors do not object. Debtors often believe that approximations are good enough, and that they are free to pick and choose which debts to file. Approximations work occasionally, but not always. You are always supposed to list all of your debts, even if you are keeping the property or paying for it outsidethe bankruptcy. The general rule is that everything is disclosed, even though there may be considerable freedom in deciding how debts or assets are treated in the plan or statement of intentions.

Our experience is that taking time to be accurate on the front end greatly reduces anxiety, and reduces complications in both simple and hard cases. Naturally, hard cases, like business cases or repeat filings, take longer to get right than simple cases. Sometimes clients believe that their case is hard, when really its easy, and sometimes they think its easy, when its complex for reasons they did not anticipate. Either way, it works best when everyone understands the challenges and benefits as early as possible. The best way to make that happen is to be prepared with paperwork. Keep appointments. Listen carefully to questions, and trust that the lawyer really is on your side even if he warns you about constraints. Trust that the lawyer wants you to succeed, and get what you want as badly as you do.

If you are wondering about filing a bankruptcy, call first and ask general questions. Listen for whether you are being treated with respect, and expect to get some meaningful answers to your questions. However, you shouldnt expect highly specific answers if you havent met the lawyer in person and provided all the information needed to write detailed plans and schedules.

After you file, trust the lawyer that you have chosen. The procedures and requirements are too numerous to understand everything at once, especially things that may or may not happen in the future. Sometimes you have to be patient and let your questions come into focus.

After you have chosen to file with a particular lawyer, its not proper for a different lawyer to give second opinions and second guess decisions that your lawyer has made. When people who are already represented ask me questions, I may feel like offering my own opinion and solutions, but I almost always refrain. A person who offers a second opinionoften hasnt understood everything. Its disrespectful to both the lawyer and the client to make superficial suggestions without an adequate grasp of the facts.

Please call us at 678-519-4143 to discuss your particular situation. With our help, starting the process will be less stressful, smoother, and more successful than what you might think. 

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H. Brooks Cotten graduated from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, AL in 1981.  He earned an MBA at Monterey Institute of International Studies in California in 1987. He has a reputation as a knowledgeable attorney who is not afraid to litigate close legal issues on your behalf.

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