I have written before about hiring the cheapest bankruptcy attorney.
After waiting for my clients’ turns at some recent creditor meetings, people still think hiring the least expensive attorney is the best idea to get their financial well-being on track.
Have you seen the TV commercial about fixing a $5 haircut?
The idea is that the longstanding hometown barber sees a national chain open a cheap haircut storefront across the street. The hometown barber obviously charges more. Luckily, it isn’t going well for the national chain, customers are coming out of there with awful haircuts.
Local barber goes to a print shop and gets a banner. It reads: We Fix $5 Haircuts!
National haircut chain goes out of business. Local barbershop stays in business.
Why does he stay in business? Because he knows how to do his job, do it right, and charge appropriately for it.
Now back to the actual creditor meetings the other day. The bankruptcy trustee was explaining to the attorneys and clients, as a group, about the missteps in their bankruptcy filings.
While there can be a certain amount of negotiation when it comes to unexempt assets, certain principles are straightforward.
Clients should have been warned in advance that certain tactics for protecting their assets probably won’t work. I wonder how many of the clients were hearing of the potential problem for the first time that day – rather than months before the case was even filed.
I don’t doubt that people who to me come for a consultation often go on other consultations with other attorneys. Some other attorneys charge more, others charge less.
But it is important to remember: there is more to choosing the right attorney than the fact that he or she only charges $5 for your “haircut”.
How much will it cost you in the long run if that $5 “haircut” can’t be fixed?