For many, choosing a debt settlement lawyer is a daunting task; especially if this is your first time doing so. Here are 7 helpful tips on how to hire a debt settlement lawyer.
Before even choosing a lawyer, you need to know if you should settle your debt. Answer these questions to make sure debt settlement is the right move for you.
Knowing what type of legal issue you are dealing with will help you narrow down what kind of attorney you need. For example, if you received a summons for speeding, you will want to retain a lawyer that has experience defending speeding tickets.
And, if you are having problems with debt, you will want to look for an attorney that has experience helping consumers resolve their debts. Below are some tips for finding the right debt settlement lawyer for you.
Asking your friends, family, and colleagues if they know, or hired, a debt settlement lawyer is always a good place to start. Quite often individuals that contact our firm were referred to us by one of our other clients. Another advantage of asking someone for a referral is that you can get an idea of what to expect prior to speaking with the debt settlement lawyer.
This day and age we are lucky to have access to an abundance of legal information online and most attorneys have websites that allow potential clients to learn more about their practice. It is important to spend some time online doing research about debt settlement lawyers prior to contacting one; although, like everything on the internet, you should be mindful of the source.
Can’t I Just Use The Information Online?
The internet can be helpful, but it is still in your best interest to contact a debt settlement lawyer and not rely exclusively on the information that you found online. So, now that you have done your research and made a list of debt settlement lawyers to contact what can you expect? What questions do you need to ask? Here are some pointers.
Most likely, your first contact with the debt settlement attorney’s office will be a phone call. During that initial call, you should ask whether or not that attorney offers a free-initial consultation, or if there is a fee for a consultation and, if so, how much?
Ask if the consultation can be in person so you can get a feel of who you will be working with. Then, once a consultation is set, ask what documents you should bring with you to that consultation.
Once you are sitting down with the debt settlement lawyer, there are several questions that you will want to ask. At first, the attorney will, most likely, ask what brought you to them. This is your time to explain what got you into this situation and why you think that you need a debt settlement attorney’s help. After telling the attorney your story, ask them how he or she thinks that they can help you based on our situation.
For example, can the debt settlement lawyer help you reduce the balances of the alleged debts? Can they help you setup payment arrangements with the creditor? By this point you should have a much better idea if this attorney is right for you.
This is one of the most important topics that you will discuss with your debt settlement lawyer. During your consultation, you want to ask for a clear explanation of the attorney’s legal fees.
For example, does he or she charge on an hourly basis? And, if so, how much per hour? Does the attorney charge a flat fee? If so, what exactly does that flat fee include? Once you and the attorney have agreed on a fee, they will most likely ask you to sign a retainer agreement.
Is The Retainer Agreement All That Important?
We cannot stress enough how important it is that you review the retainer agreement and ask questions if you are not 100% sure what the retainer is saying, because once you sign the retainer you are most likely bound by its terms Choosing a debt settlement attorney can be an intimidating task, but if you follow these suggestions it will make the process much easier!
I’ve Made My Decision!
Legal Disclaimer: The content in this article is strictly for informational purposes; it is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.