Looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Dayton Ohio?
Consider these factors when looking for the best bankruptcy attorney in Dayton Ohio to file your personal bankruptcy:
You will want to start with an online search of all of the Dayton bankruptcy attorney websites. Each Dayton bankruptcy attorney should list on their website the types of cases that the attorney handles. You are looking for an attorney with experience in bankruptcy, which is generally regarded as a specialty area of the law.
Bankruptcy attorneys in Dayton Ohio are not very numerous.
Although many attorneys advertise that they have some experience filing bankruptcy you will notice that only a handful of them practice primarily in filing personal bankruptcy cases.
- Credentials and Qualifications
When searching for a bankruptcy attorney in Dayton, you want to review the websites of all the Dayton bankruptcy attorneys for their credentials and qualifications. Unfortunately, there are very few objective standards that exist for measuring the qualification, training, education and experience of a Dayton bankruptcy attorney. The only specialization certification that exists is that offered by the American Board of Certification which is recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court. The ABC world.org website lists all board-certified consumer bankruptcy specialists. Again, Richard West is the only Dayton bankruptcy attorney who is board-certified.
There are organizations that Dayton bankruptcy attorneys could belong to that evidence their interest in bankruptcy law. However, simply wanting to an organization does not necessarily mean that the attorney has any additional training, education or experience, it simply means that the attorney joined the organization. A better qualification to look for is how many cases the Dayton bankruptcy attorney has filed. There is a website that lists the top 10 bankruptcy attorneys in southern Ohio, including Cincinnati bankruptcy attorneys and Dayton bankruptcy attorneys. See http://toptenbankruptcyattorneys.com/ for a list of the top ten filers in the southern district of ohio bankruptcy court.
Bankruptcy attorneys in Dayton (all bankruptcy attorneys, actually) are not permitted to advertise themselves as specialists unless they are board-certified. No bankruptcy attorney is permitted, under the attorney advertising laws to advertise that they are “expert” bankruptcy attorneys (although a few do, its not permitted).
I am the only one board-certified consumer bankruptcy specialist in the Dayton area, and I have been a board-certified consumer bankruptcy specialist for over a decade. For the demanding qualifications to become board certified you can visit ABCworld.org.
As noted above, specialist status evidenced by Board Certification in Ohio. However, board certification is not the only way that you can tell that the Dayton bankruptcy attorney that you are considering hiring is the right one for your personal bankruptcy. Some bankruptcy attorneys do limit their practice to bankruptcy and this is generally noted on the bankruptcy attorney’s website. It is not absolutely necessary for a bankruptcy attorney to be board-certified in order for that attorney to be a good Dayton bankruptcy attorney for you. However, limiting the attorneys practice to bankruptcy and bankruptcy related matters is a good indication that the attorney will have a higher level of skill and expertise in handling your Dayton bankruptcy case.
Other related areas, foreclosure law, for example, may indicate that the Dayton bankruptcy attorney is well-rounded in matters related to consumer bankruptcy cases. There are other options.
Office Support Staff
It is important to investigate the support staff in the employ of your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. Because bankruptcy case preparation and related matters are frequently handled in large measure by highly trained paralegal staff, and not the attorney himself or herself, you want to find out what kind of staff the Dayton bankruptcy attorney you are considering hiring has. How many paralegals, how many support people, and how many attorneys in the office? What happens when someone gets sick? Goes on vacation? Has a conflict with a schedule? What if an emergency arises?
The nature of bankruptcy practice is such that the attorney will generally evaluate your needs, make the decision about which chapter to file, whether or not bankruptcy is the right choice, and other related matters, but the actual preparation of the petition is done in most offices by paralegals. In fact, if the bankruptcy attorney you are considering hiring tells you that he or she prepares the entire petition and does all the work you might wonder why!
Most attorneys didn’t go to law school to do clerical work. Efficient office organization and use of talent means that the attorney should employ at least one other attorney and sufficient support staff to cover the inevitable absence of staff and schedule conflicts that arise.
Support to rebuild credit after the bankruptcy
After the bankruptcy is over, the Dayton bankruptcy attorney that you are considering may or may not offer any support to help you rebuild your credit. Most Dayton bankruptcy attorneys offer no support whatsoever after the bankruptcy is over. And, to be fair, rebuilding credit is not part of bankruptcy law. Attorneys are not taught credit rebuilding in law school.
However, I believe that it is very important to the consumer. After your personal bankruptcy is filed, certain steps need to be taken in order to properly rebuild your credit. Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney should make a recommendation or referral to a credit counselor if he or she is not going to help you with this very important part of your financial recovery. I personally believe that helping my clients through the bankruptcy, and helping them rebuild their credit and helping to dispute any incorrect information that may appear on their credit report is a vital part of helping my clients achieve the full and complete financial recovery. That’s why I became a certified credit counselor.
If the Dayton bankruptcy attorney that you are going to use is not willing to help you finish the job that bankruptcy starts, make sure that you understand that there is more to do after the bankruptcy is over if you are going to have a complete financial recovery.
They say that bankruptcy is a fresh start, but I say that it’s only a start; you need to finish what you start. Rebuilding your credit and cleaning up the credit report is vital to improving your credit score in achieving a full and complete financial recovery. For this reason, I have developed an entire coaching course that I make available to my clients to assist in their financial recovery after wiping out their debts in the bankruptcy.