I was in court earlier this week. Witnessed a hearing where an inexperienced attorney was representing a chapter 7 client. First the trustee admonished the attorney for using the property tax id number instead of the legal description of the property as the documents call for. Had not the trustee brought this to his attention (he didn’t have to) the net result of that would have been an issue clearing title to the property in a subsequent refinance or sale. Some lawyer would have had to bring a motion to re-open the bankruptcy case in order to properly amend the schedules to reflect the correct legal description so the Schedule C could then be filed against the property records. That cost of the motion and the subsequent amendment alone would have cost probably $1,500.00.
Besides that it appeared that the client was a realtor. New attorney didn’t know enough to ask him about potential commissions from listings the client may have had at the time his chapter 7 case was filed. Sounds like he cost his client $5,000.00 for the value of the commission that could have been avoided had he known enough to ask about it and some pre-bankruptcy planning been implemented.
Long story short….maybe the client saved a few hundred bucks hiring this kid. Turned out it cost him thousands and could have cost him even more had not the trustee been gracious enough to clue him in on the legal description problems. Do you REALLY want to hire an attorney with little or no experience….even if they say they are highly rated (easy to get your friends and relatives with a computer to do ratings for you). Think about it. What you pay for an experienced attorney who charges reasonable fees commensurate with their experience is an investment in your bankruptcy case and your future. Look for the bargain basement attorneys and as the Chinese say…..”be careful what you wish for”………..you’ll get bargain basement results.
For help from experienced counsel in all manner of chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy issues please call my office at (952) 432-4388 and/or visit our website at www.kingburylawoffice.com.