What Phone Call? The Challenges of Bankruptcy Attorney-Client Communication
Your bankruptcy attorney will contact you. You will contact your bankruptcy attorney. Everyone knows this will happen. Everyone understands that effective attorney-client communication is important. However, not everyone appreciates the difficulties both parties have with communication before bankruptcy. What do I mean? If you’re preparing to file for bankruptcy you are not picking up your phone on the first ring; you’re screening your calls to avoid creditor harassment. This understandable tactic will create one critical, and often overlooked, problem in your bankruptcy: how will your attorney contact you?
Establish Several Contact Methods
It is important to arrange several contact methods with your bankruptcy attorney from the outset of the attorney-client relationship. Email addresses should be exchanged, mobile phone numbers disclosed, and any other confidential means of communication arranged. Establishing several methods of communication will help both you and your attorney stay in close contact throughout your bankruptcy.
Phone Calls and Letters Are Not Enough
The worst thing both you and your attorney can do is to assume that phone calls and letters will be sufficient forms of communication. Here’s a very typical scenario. Your projected filing date is approaching fast. Your attorney is drafting your petition but needs to clarify some information. He calls you. You don’t answer. He calls you later. You still don’t answer. You miraculously get his message considering your voicemail is flooded with harassing messages from creditors. You call your attorney back. He is busy, but his secretary takes a message. He calls you. You don’t answer. Both you and your attorney play a very tedious game of phone-tag. Finally, after many messages and wasted time, the information gets clarified and your bankruptcy petition moves along. But wait. The attorney has another question. The nightmare continues.
Arranging secondary forms of communication can save time for both you and your attorney. While preparing your bankruptcy petition your attorney will need to contact you several times. Similarly, you will have questions that you want answered in a timely fashion. Establishing alternative methods of communication will help move your bankruptcy along to everyone’s benefit.
A letter from your attorney can get lost in the pile of past-due notices. Voicemails can get lost in cluttered inboxes. However, free email accounts are plentiful and their messages instantaneous. Therefore, share favored email addresses with your attorney at the beginning and commit to checking these email accounts daily. This will help both you and your attorney share important information and avoid unsuccessful phone calls. Also, consider arranging phone appointments with your bankruptcy attorney. Phone appointments can be arranged through a few emails or by calling staff.
We Communicate With You
Sacramento Law Group maintains excellent attorney-client communication. Call us at (916) 596-1018 to schedule your free bankruptcy consultation.
Sacramento Law Group
331 J St #200
Sacramento, CA 95814