20 Signs of a Bad Bankruptcy Lawyer

Not all bankruptcy lawyers are created equal and you should approach your choices for counsel with a critical eye. The Law Firm of Peter & Paul strives to offer exceptional service and compassionate support to each and every one of our clients. Unfortunately, not all attorneys approach their clients this way. As you are considering your options, keep the following 20 signs of a bad bankruptcy lawyer in mind.

The Signs

  1. Publishes an ad or website that doesn’t mention or hides the word “bankruptcy.”
  2. Promises “debt relief” but does not make the required statement that “This law office is a debt relief agency – we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”
  3. Guarantees a result, OR overstates experience, OR advertises as the “best” or “only” attorney to provide a particular service.
  4. Doesn’t offer a free first consultation.
  5. Asks clients to borrow money from a specific loan outfit to pay bankruptcy fees or costs.
  6. Doesn’t charge enough upfront to file the case (so that you can be charged more fees later to complete the job).
  7. Doesn’t require a signed written contract that spells out the details and limits of the legal representation.
  8. Doesn’t agree in writing to represent you through the First Meeting of Creditors for the fee you pay.
  9. Spends only a few minutes with you before turning you over to non-lawyer assistant(s).
  10. Gets paid for client or bankruptcy referrals.
  11. Doesn’t personally explain the differences among Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
  12. Doesn’t provide written instructions and the congressionally required disclosures explaining the different bankruptcy options.
  13. Doesn’t require you to provide financial documents such as bills, credit reports, bank statements, tax returns, proof of ownership of vehicles, etc.
  14. Doesn’t personally review the facts of your case with you.
  15. Doesn’t explain the “Means Test” and other eligibility requirements for each type of bankruptcy case.
  16. Attempts to put you in a more expensive Chapter 13 when you are eligible and better served by filing a Chapter 7 case.
  17. Unreasonably resists or refuses to respond to your texts, letters, emails, or phone calls.
  18. Unreasonably threatens to withdraw as your attorney, especially to avoid handling a problem that arises in your case prior to the First Meeting of Creditors.
  19. Withdraws from your case without your consent because of a “conflict of interest” without specifying the nature of the conflict or the time the conflict arose.
  20. Allows you to pay attorney fees for a Chapter 7 case in installments after the case is filed without reporting that arrangement in the papers filed with the bankruptcy court.

If you’ve experienced any of the treatment outlined above, it is time to seek new representation immediately. Contact the Law Firm of Peter & Paul today at (801) 359-1313 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and reputable Salt Lake City bankruptcy lawyer.