I have noticed that most major cities have several, if not many "bankruptcy mills" which include a team of attorneys and a large paralegal staff. I suppose that it is more efficient to coordinate many cases, if the firm has a big staff that can fill out the paperwork using paralegals and thereby leaving the things that an attorney is required to do to him. My question is, if any of you have used any of these bankruptcy centers for your filing and if the quality of services was sufficient to see you through the case. If ones case isn't a "cookie cutter" case, such as one which includes tax liens, giving up a house, filing past tax returns that were never filed, and maybe even judgments, can a case that is filed through one of those types of offices be assured that it will be handled to the best of the attorney's ability? I suppose that most attorneys would like cookie cutter cases especially if their normal filing fees are low but will one chance getting screwed if he hires one of these firms over an individual attorney? It's sad how the present economy has effected so many people. Several associates of mine are considering filing chapter 7. One of them was asking me about the above scenario.
In this area (WD-Wis.), there are a couple of thes sorts of outfits. Their work ranges from adequate to mediocre to simply terrible. In easy cases, they may get the job done but in anything complicated cases, I review a large number of filings each week. Filings from these "mills" are often imcomplete, inaccurate or just plain incorrect, causing the 341 Meetings to be adjourned, having to amend the pleadings (sometimes many times) and running up everyone's time and money. I often hear from clients of these places (at least, the ones around here) about extreme difficulty in getting questions answered and being "left behind" after the 341 Meeting (e.g. no help in dealing with things that may come up afterwards, like motions for relief, reaffirmation agreements, etc.) Pre-filing counseling is also something many or most of these outfits don't seem to do very well. Their rates are often not much less (and in comse cases more) than the rates of other counsel in the area. Choose wisely, and don't be afraid to interview any prospective lawyer in advance, ask questions like "am I ever gonna be able to get ahold of you..." (That's the single biggest problem I see).
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