When you search for a bankruptcy professional on the internet, your search will result in several websites that trumpet all the help they can provide you.  If you are reading this, I am probably one of those sites that you find when you search “bankruptcy Greenville North Carolina”.  If you are a consumer, please beware that some of these websites want nothing more than to take your money and offer little help in return.  Some sites merely point you to some forms for a fee.  Others may be a law firm in some far away big city that wants you to swallow the hook.  As an attorney who has witnessed and read the devastation that these sites can cause, I urge anyone that is contemplating professional help to read the following:

  1.  Beware of Form Websites:  These websites attract you because of their low costs.  “We can help you for only $89”.  Once you pay the fee, they offer you access to an overwhelming amount of forms.  These forms will be hard to understand.  The forms have serious legal consequences when filed with the Court.  They provide you no legal representation.  You could lose your house, car and other property.  These companies are only concerned with getting their fee for finding forms and have no care as to the consequences to you.  If forms are all that you want, I will save you the money.  The following is a link to the national bankruptcy forms.   www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms.
  2. Beware of National Consumer Bankruptcy Law Firms: These firms are typically firms that are not located in your state.  They are prominent on the internet.  Their goal is to cultivate as many clients as possible.  They lure you with their fee for fee structure.  Most of your contact with the firm will be through the internet or telephone.  They prepare your case.  Then they have one of their “partners” take over the case.  The partner is usually a local attorney in your area.  You may or may not meet with the local attorney.  The attorney may or may not be experienced in bankruptcy law.  You will sign paperwork that the national firm has prepared.  The “partner” will attend a court hearing with you.  You may or may not recognize your attorney at the hearing.  If this sounds like a good experience, then one of these national firms is for you.  If you are lucky, all will go well, but the following can happen. See this link to a press release from the Department of Justice regarding one of these firms:  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/national-consumer-bankruptcy-law-firm-sanctioned-harming-financially-distressed-consumers-and
  3. Here are Some Tips to Finding the Right Attorney from the Internet:

a) Is the attorney local?  Local can be relative to your location.  Sometimes you may need to drive to the next city to find a competent bankruptcy attorney.  Not every attorney is a bankruptcy attorney and we                     tend to be dedicated predominantly to bankruptcy law.

b)  When you called the attorney, did you feel that you were being sold a product?  National firms will often engage in high pressure sales techniques.  Remember, you are seeking legal help.  You should not feel               like you are being sold a timeshare when you call a law office.

c)  Were you able to schedule an appointment?  If a law firm tells you that there is no need for an appointment and everything can be done by internet and phone, you should consider another attorney.  The first                 meeting with the client is extremely important for both the attorney and client.

If you are seeking help with your financial troubles, you may contact C. Scott Kirk at (252) 689-6249 or scott@csklawoffice.clarencewebdesign.com.  Visit my website at csklawoffice.com.  I am a bankruptcy attorney located in Greenville, North Carolina and serving Eastern North Carolina.

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